FAMILY is everything for the owners/operators of La Rustica, a laid back Italian eatery that operated for 25 years on Kennedy Street, Kingston. And family remains everything at its recently opened location at Kingston Foreshore.Katrina Spadafora and Peter Callipari, brother and sister, are familiar faces. Their father Tony is the pizza chef and mother Maria is very much involved. Katrina’s husband Giuseppe is a chef and Peter’s wife Bianca serves customers. Other family members are also on board. You can “feel the love”.
The fit out cost a pretty penny. It is a rustic look with warm woodwork, stonework and a comfy bar for enjoying a drink before dinner. The floor-to-ceiling windows are an added bonus for the view.
My favourite carpaccio remains and I have had it three times at the lake location – raw veal cured with lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, salty capers, rocket and parmesan ($18.90). I adore it, although on one visit the lemon was overpowering.
The pasta list is extensive and if you are a Balmain bug fan, order the spaghetti with creamy shallot, garlic and white wine sauce ($26.90). New is the spaghetti Nero, which I recommend if you like a bit of kick ($22.90). This homemade squid ink spaghetti is tossed with shallots, chili, garlic, white wine, extra virgin olive oil and tomato sugo. I became an immediate fan.
A friend ordered the good old spaghetti primavera (vegan). By design, this is not a super inspiring dish if you are looking for tonnes of hefty flavour, but it is healthy and loaded with veggies. And another ordered the scallopine saltimbocca ($28.90), veal topped with sage butter and a white wine sauce. It is a mild but pleasant dish, with the sage butter a feature.
Mains cover all the bases ($28.90 to $36.90), including seafood, lamb, chicken and beef. They are generous and best tackled if you have lots of room.
The wine list has expanded at the new La Rustica, which is a good thing. And if you love sweet endings you won’t be disappointed.
La Rustica, open seven days for lunch and dinner. Corner Eastlake Parade and Trevillian Quay. Call 6295 0152.
In last week’s dining review, Wendy Johnson faithfully reported Parlour Wine Bar’s lunchtime opening hours, but its website was wrong. Lunch at Parlour is from Tuesday to Sunday noon-3pm, not from Thursday.