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Italian cuisine, now part of Australian culture with spaghetti Bolognese named one of our favourite dishes, is an inspired combination of simple, fresh ingredients to create delightful dishes, from pasta and pizza, lasagna and risotto to tirimisu and gelato. With so many Italian restaurants throughout Adelaide, begin your search for the best with these favourites.
Although it's named for the kitchen, service at Cucina is a highlight where you're at ease despite the full house. You can enjoy breakfast, served until 4pm, presumably for shift workers, night owls and artists, but dinner is when Cucina comes alive, packed most evenings to create a vibrant atmosphere yet service is very attentive. Highlights on the menu begin with the antipasto, with grilled octopus and ciabatta, arancini with veal ragu and mozzarella or an antipasto sharing plate with squid, oysters, sausage and peppers. For pasta, choose the penne with South Australian prawns, tomato and chilli, gnocchi with sauteed chicken, tomatoes and pine nuts or the classic spaghetti with veal and herb meatballs and Napoletana sauce are highlights. For mains, the grilled rib-eye with rosemary, onion and garlic potatoes should leave just enough room for dessert of affogato. Cucina is open 7 days from 7am, closing late each evening.
Since the 1960s, 3 generations of the Parisi family have been involved in La Trattoria. While the original owner, Andrea will regale you with tales of his pizza championship in New York and hosting Mick Jagger, Aryton Senna and Jon Bon Jovi, the old school traditions continue. Featuring large servings of classic Italian food we remember nostalgically, the menu's classics are spaghetti marinara with large prawns, scallops and mussels, pizza margherita and scaloppine fiorentina with veal, tomato and cheese, finished with the homemade tiramisu.La Trattoria is open for lunch 12pm - 3pm weekdays and dinner 7 days a week from 5pm till late.
While Dominos invests in GPS tracking for home deliveries, Amalfi's pizza doesn't escape the dining room, offering the classic choices that have made it an East End institution for 35 years. Make ordering easy with these local favourites - spinach pizza with olives, salami and pancetta, Zingarella linguine with prawns, chilli, basil and broccoli and con pollo chicken with rigatoni, mushroom, apricot and pancetta. The wine list features award-winning whites from the Adelaide Hills and Barossa and reds from Tuscany and Piedmont. Amalfi opens from 12pm - 2.30pm and 5.30pm - 10.30pm weekdays and 5.30pm - 11pm on Saturday.
Semifreddo chocolate, hazelnut and gelato dessert (by Andre's)
For special occasions, Chianti is one of the most elegant restaurants in Adelaide, winning awards for the best Italian restaurant in South Australia with a seasonal menu and cellar stacked with award-winning wines. Within minutes of our major hotels, the tables at Chianti are often booked by visitors but locals shouldn't miss the experience. The menu, using poultry from the Barossa, veges from Alnda Farm and fruit from the Food Forest features 5-star treats beginning with pesce crudo - trout, cucumber, shallots and salmon caviar. The pasta dish with Blue Swimmer crab, zucchini and a consomme jelly or the slow cooked rabbit, pancetta, port and sage are nice main courses while dessert of caramelised passionfruit tart or hot chocolate pudding with walnut gelato are a sweet ending to the evening. Also serving breakfast, Chianti is open from 7.30am weekdays and 8am Saturday and Sunday till late.
When you're quickly greeted with a refreshment before studying the menu, you'll feel Andre's passion for keeping it simple, with seasonal ingredients from their kitchen garden in the Adelaide Hills used create classic Italian dishes. Begin with the vegetarian taster with sweet potato crisps, eggplant stew and buffalo ricotta. The polenta is famous at Andre's with three delicious choices - sausage ragu, spinach and gorgonzola or mushroom and taleggio cheese. For mains, the pasta shells with eel, prawn and squid ink or the pork fillet with chickpea and salsa verde are hearty choices. 4 dessert choices cater for every desire, with zeppole cookies with vanilla custard to cheesecake with blueberry and lemon. For special occasions, Andre's hosts a Menu Fisso with a recommended set of shared dishes from starter to dessert for $65. Andre's is open for dinner on Monday and lunch and dinner from Tuesday - Saturday.
Dinner with Mick Jagger and Michael Hutchence (by La Trattoria)