I often find myself pondering about my favourite type of cuisine. Do I actually have a favourite? It’s a difficult question and one that usually makes me hungry as I imagine different dishes from countries around the world. So whilst I can’t say what the definitive list is, I do know that Italian food features towards the top. Pizza and pasta both hail from this country so it was always going to put it in good stead for a high ranking. With this in mind, an invitation to try out an Italian restaurant I hadn’t been to previously was always going to be very welcome. We were off to say buongiorno to Davvero Caffe e Cucina in Floreat.
Situated in the Floreat Forum, the Davvero team has done a beautiful job with the fit out. It’s light and bright with splashes of colour and subtle decoration throughout and it all feels very welcoming. I can imagine that the alfresco dining section they have will be incredibly popular in the warmer months. But how did Davvero end up opening up in Perth? Well it all happened when two Tuscan families, who have fallen in love with Perth and Western Australia, meet an Aussie with Sicilian blood in his veins. It was then, over some good food and good wine that the Davvero vision began. They were focused on bringing an authentic Italian experience to West Aussie diners, including quality Italian wines.
GG and I were dining on a Thursday evening and were shown to a lovely table for two. There is something entirely charming about an Italian accent explaining an Italian menu to you. It really took me back to my visit to Tuscany earlier in the year. Such a beautiful part of the world and my goodness the food! The menu at Davvero is split into various sections – shared entrees served on planks, small single service entrees, pasta dishes (but of course), secondi – the main courses and then dolci, otherwise known as dessert. There were some very tasty sounding options and I wasn’t quite sure what to order. So I asked Lorenzo, our friendly waiter and one of the Tuscan locals that made the move to Perth to create Davvero, for some guidance on which dishes on the menu hailed from Tuscany. While we gave further consideration to the menu, on the drinks side, we kicked things off with a spritz. I am a big fan of the wonder of the Aperol Spritz, but they had a few other options available on the menu so we decided to mix things up and ordered a Limoncello Spritz (Limoncello, prosecco, soda) $14 and also an Elderflower Spritz (Elderflower, prosecco, soda) $16.
I enjoyed both and found the Limoncello actually more refreshing than I had probably expected, but I do like all things citrus, and the elderflower had a pleasantly floral and herbaceous flavour. Both weren’t overly sweet which was a win and just what you want in an aperitif. As we merrily sipped our drinks we studied the menu more closely and with Lorenzo’s advice we shortlisted some dishes to share. It was time. We were ready to order:
SPUNTINO Boards to share
Burrata dop, San Daniele Prosciutto, cherry tomatoes and coccoli min 2 serves 16 per serve
ANTIPASTI. Italian size single entrées also good to be shared
Tenderloin Steak Tartare of Dandaragan certified organic beef seasoned and served with English mustard, red onion, anchovies and capers. 25
PRIMI PIATTI, PASTA e RISOTTO Enjoy as a big entrée or a small main course
Casoncelli alla Bergamasca Just can’t translate this awesome regional dish, we will explain it to you at your table 28
SECONDI PIATTI Traditional Italian main courses
Peposo dell’Impruneta – Stew of Australian certified Black Angus slow cooked in red wine and black peppercorns served with mashed potatoes and rosemary bread wafer 35
On the wine front, resident expert Cristano, is able to provide suggestions on which wine will match with each course, which is always helpful. The entire wine list is Italian and though I am always happy to wave the flag for West Australian wines, I quite liked that an Italian restaurant had structured their list this way and there was a fairly lengthy offering.
Onto the entrees! The plank was a very generous size. I haven’t eaten a lot of burrata before, haven’t seen it on too many menus if I am honest, but I love a nice soft cheese so I was keen to try it here. Served with a mountain of flavoursome prosciutto, a few cherry tomatoes and a generous serve of coccili, which are small squares of fried pizza dough. It was quite the tasty combination, especially when you carefully stacked a little of this and a little of that on top of the coccoli and tucked in.
The steak tartare had beautiful presentation, I liked the dramatic paint brushing of mustard and I’m a massive fan of this rare beef dish. I hadn’t eaten Italian style tartare before in that it doesn’t come served with any bread. As I found out in Italy it rarely is and the focus is on the quality of the meat and on this front it couldn’t be faulted. Dandaragan Organic Beef is a beautiful local product. As Western Australia’s largest producer of certified organic beef, we supply top quality, grass fed and grass finished beef without the use of hormones, antibiotics and chemicals. At Dandaragan Organic Beef we believe in treating our cattle with respect, working in harmony with the land and delivering a sustainable product that is both healthy and tasty. So whilst we enjoyed this dish, it was just a bit different to what we are used to tartare wise. Always good to try new things though!
After a brief interlude, our mains arrived so too did a matched red, Rosso di Montalcino Argiano Toscana, and it was heaven in a glass! It took me back to beautiful Italy and pretty Tuscan villages like Montepulciano and Pienza. Bellissimo! The pasta was the first to arrive. A ravioli style pasta, made fresh in house and it was just delicious. I won’t go into the specifics of what is in it because half the fun is having Lorenzo explain it to you, but this was my favourite dish, because I love pasta….. a lot.
Our other choice we were told likely suited more of a Winter menu, but as the Summer menu hadn’t been released yet it was still available when we visited. It was a rich stew, well-seasoned with a variety of herbs and spices and a lovely amount of black pepper. The meat had been lovingly slow cooked and just melted in your mouth. The generous serve came on top of an equally generous amount of creamy mashed potato. It had a lovely depth of flavour and was incredibly filling.
Mamma Mia! Was there going to be room for dessert? There was tiramisu on the menu which I do love but I pondered whether it would be better to leave it for another day. Lorenzo then let us know about the dessert tasting plate which has a small serve of each dessert menu item. In retrospect I’m not sure why I had thought this would be easier to tackle than sharing one serve of tiramisu with GG but I think the allure of the chance to try all the desserts proved too great. So that’s what we ordered.
DOLCI Our awesome house made desserts
Sweet selection to share min 2 people 10 pp
Tiramisù – The classic 12
Light yoghurt mousse on a Mango cream and Kataifi dough 12
Soufflé al cioccolato – Dark Caffarel Italian chocolate soufflé with jam heart, vanilla custard 12.5
Cantucci e Vinsanto Homemade Cantucci biscotti to dip in Vinsanto typical Tuscan sweet wine (glass of sweet wine included) 15 for 1 24 for 2
Cristiano also brought us a glass of vin santo too, which was a nice addition. Vin Santo (“holy wine”) is a style of Italian dessert wine. Traditional in Tuscany, these wines are often made from white grape varieties such as Trebbiano and Malvasia, though Sangiovese may be used to produce a rosé style known as “Occhio di Pernice” or eye of the partridge.
On the dessert front it was a pleasing array of sweet treats. The richness from the Soufflé al cioccolato and the Tiramisù, along with a slightly lighter and more fruity finish from the Light yoghurt mousse. It is a nice way to enjoy dessert to be able to essentially sample all of the menu options in a downscaled serve.
It had been a very filling Italian feed and I thoroughly enjoyed our weeknight visit. You can really tell the team is putting their heart and soul into the restaurant and are aiming to serve up some traditional Tuscan dishes with a distinct West Aussie flair.
Davvero! Caffé e Cucina is us, Michael, Lorenzo, Cristiano, Elena and Cristina, waiting for you everyday.
BREAKFAST AND LUNCH:
Monday-Tuesday 7.30 am – 3.30 pm
BREAKFAST, LUNCH and DINNER: Wednesday-Thursday-Friday-Saturday 7:30 am – 10.30 pm SUNDAY 8:30 am – 15:30
My thanks to Davvero for the invitation to enjoy a lovely meal.