Bicicletta; what a cute name for a small, relaxed Italian café with a good spot in the New Acton courtyard, near fine-dining Flint and the Parlour bar.
It was a stifling hot day when we visited and a storm the night before had caused the much-needed air-con to seize. These things happen.
The key in hospitality is how staff deal with them and the staff at Bicicletta did well. Apologies all round, a promise that Mr Fix-It was on his way and then an invitation to just sit and “kind-of chill out”.
Indeed, the staff at Bicicletta really add to the experience. They’re knowledgeable, friendly and efficient, but never in your face.
Bicicletta’s menu specialises in antipasti, pizzas and pastas, all made with amore.
The café prides itself on using local produce as much as possible and menus sensibly change with the seasons.
The pizze tradizionali are all made on a specially-imported pizza maker and there are 11 options ($20 to $25). The tried and true Margherita is featured as is the Gustosa – mozzarella, salami, ham, sausage, provola and cracked black pepper. And vegetarians are well catered for.
We both decided to settle on a homemade pasta – the penne arrabiata and the duck ragu tagliatelle – agreeing, when the dishes arrived, that the portions were “just right” for lunch.
The arrabiata had some kick with the chilli, but we found the tasty napoletana sauce almost too thick to evenly coat the pasta. My duck ragu was rich, as it should be, and the meat was tender.
We weren’t going to indulge in dessert, but by then the air-con was working and our waiter had told us – without a pushy sales pitch – that the tiramisu was to die for. He was right on the mark.
This sinful, Italian, layered dessert was made with strong coffee, sweet savoiardi biscuit and velvety marscapone. It is big enough to share and I can put my hand on my heart and say it’s one of the best I’ve had in Canberra.
Also on the dolci menu is a panna cotta with peach puree and a dark-chocolate mousse with caramelised orange. The gelati – an excellent summer choice – is $6 for two scoops (other desserts are $12).
The interior of Bicicletta is rustic with some pronounced industrial elements, which suits its overall personality.
The wine list has several reasonably-priced options by the glass and the café offers coffees and meals to take away.
Open breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days, 1/15 Edinburgh Avenue, New Acton, call 6262 8683.