Da Gianni is now closed
It's supposed to be Spring here in Australia right now. Not that you could tell from the weather, being that it has been pouring all day and windy. So we're ever so glad that we have a booking at an Italian restaurant, recommended to us by S, who dined here 2 weeks previously. In Annandale, a suburb that we don't get to often, it's nicely outfitted and service from the owner is very friendly in that gracious Italian way from the second we enter the door.
Our fellow diners are all on the older side with a lot of Italian people which is always a good sign. There are romantic couples as well as groups of families and friends and the lighting is dim. S notes that the menu has changed entirely from when he dined a couple of weeks ago.
We're given bread while we look over the menu (although these floury rolls are not my favourite and have difficulty soaking up the olive oil). We order a mix of dishes that they recommend and when they ask us if we'd like olives we accept. Whilst the owner is lovely and charming, our waiter appears uncomfortable and unsure.
The olives come with some breadstick like circles and the olives are flavoured with fresh rosemary and other herbs. They're small but good.
Wagyu beef bresaola with fried goats cheese stuffed green olives $18.50
M & S have ordered entrees but since my husband and I had a huge food fest earlier today we aren't as hungry. M has ordered the wagyu beef bresaola with fried goats cheese stuffed green olives. It's sliced thin and cured, resembling proscuitto and the crumbed green olives add a strong flavour punch.
White anchovy, tomato, buffalo mozzarella & basil insalata $18.50
S's white anchovy, tomato, buffalo mozzarella & basil insalata is pretty with the fanned tomato slices contrasting against the white of the buffalo mozarella. I didn't try this although S seems happy with his selection and should you wish to make it, they've provided their recipe for it here.
Veal stuffed with spinach in a tomato sauce with spring peas $29.50
After a brief break our mains arrive and my veal stuffed with spinach with tomato sauce and spring peas whilst looking brilliant, doesn't quite have the harmony of flavours that I want.
Gnocchi with braised rabbit ragu $25
In contrast, my husband's dish, the gnocchi with braised rabbit ragu, whilst on the small side, is endlessly satisfying. I wish I had ordered this, with the soft gnocchi delicious against the soft, flavoursome rabbit ragu.
Lamb cooked "the Roman way" $31
I try some of S's lamb cooked "The roman way" and it is fall apart lovely and just the trick for this cold spring evening, the white wine and herbs giving it the necessary flavour and the long cooking time giving the lamb pieces, still on the bone, that soft touch.
M's sardines are a bit of a disappointment as they still have the scales on them. She tries to eat as much as she can but gives up towards the end, hailing our waiter and quietly whispering to him the problem. He nods but doesn't do anything about it so in the end she speaks to the owner who apologises and speaks to the chef. They comp the dish and smooth over any wrinkles over the matter. Another thing that we don't realise until after we've left is that the side salad that we ordered ($12.50) hasn't materialised.
Zabaione of marsala with zeppole (warm Italian doughnuts) $15
We're waiting a while for our desserts as the item I ordered has a 15 minute waiting time. My Zabaione of marsala arrives with three zeppole which are freshly cooked donuts rolled in fragrant cinnamon and sugar. It's absolutely delicious with the fluffy Zabaione contrasting well against the crunchy spongey donuts although I need about double the amount of these donuts (about the size of donut holes) for the amount of Zabaione.
Semifreddo of crushed Italian nougat amarena cherries & pistachio nut $14
I try M's semifreddo of crushed Italian nougat amarena cherries & pistachio nut and it's fluffy, light and delightful and gorgeously presented.
36 month aged reggiano parmesan with pepper poached pear, truffled honey & walnut bread $18.50
S's 36 month aged reggiano parmesan with pepper poached pear, truffled honey & walnut bread pleases him greatly and he particularly likes the truffled honey. To me, it's strongly scented of truffle oil, rather than truffles themselves but the pear is gorgeous against the reggiano (a favourite cheese of mine)
Affogato al Cafe $9.50
My husband's Affogato al Cafe has him chuffed, the ice cream and coffee going together perfectly. At the base of the martini glass are small coffee flavoured chocolates in the shape of coffee beans which I know he likes.
There's some definite hits and the occasional miss and it's not cheap but for a friendly warm evening, it's just what we needed (except for the scales!).
Da Gianni Trattoria
127 Booth Street Annandale Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9660-6652
Dinner Monday-Saturday 6pm - late
Lunch Friday 12pm - 3pm.
BYO available Monday-Wednesday only
](http://www.dagianni.com.au/)Vegetarian options: a couple plus desserts
Da Gianni is now closed