If you are after fresh, modern, authentic Italian cuisine, look no further than Davvero! Caffe e Cucina – a sparkling white gem nestled in the heart of the Floreat Forum Shopping Centre. Only two years ago, the founding Tuscan families were eager to prove to their surprised relatives that they could create an Italian Style café and restaurant in WA and Davvero! (which translates to Really!) was born. The cosy café is open for dinner each night from 5.30pm until 10pm and is rich in accents as well as flavour. The chef mixes traditional home-made Italian ingredients with carefully selected local produce.
Partners, Lorenzo and Cristiano, invited a few people to a degustation to try the entire new winter menu. I have been advised that there is no lasagne, spaghetti bolognaise or parmigiana on their menu and that they have included only the finest fare you would find in a restaurant in Milan or Italy. Each course is to be washed down with a selection of exclusively Italian wines
First we are presented with a seafood board comprising calamari and green pea stew, marinated anchovies and WA king prawns wrapped in San Daniele prosciutto. The prawns were full of flavour and my husband was pleasantly surprised as the anchovies were not overly salty and tasted delicious with the lemon and chargrilled bread.
Antipasti/Entrees were served next and my panfried Tasmanian salmon cube with balsamic vinegar and beetroot sauce, horseradish cream and beetroot chips was cooked to perfection. The flavour of the beetroot was an excellent accompaniment.
My husband had the Tartra Piemontese, a savoury pudding served on Asiago cheese fondue. We both thought it flavoursome and I loved the first few spoonfuls I had, but the amount of cheese just made it a little sickly and even though we shared it, neither of us could quite finish it.
Panfried WA scallops served on a pumpkin sauce with parmesan cheese foam and toasted pancetta sprinkles was a big hit with the others at our table and there were no crumbs left on their plates!
Next came the Primi Piatti/pasta and risotto dishes. I tried the Calamarata pasta with fresh tomato, basil and calamari sauce. When I make pasta I throw everything in it so it is unusual for me to have pasta with nothing but sauce. I missed the extra ingredients but there was no mistaking the taste of calamari.
The risotto ai funghi e tartufo was placed in front of my husband and included king oyster mushrooms and black truffles. He eats almost anything but wasn’t a huge fan of this dish and I didn’t enjoy the small mouthful I tasted. It was a little crunchy which I wasn’t expecting and I found that a bit off-putting. One dining companion described the dish as eating “tasty dirt” and the flavour as like “a punch in the face”.
The Pappardelle al cinghiale in dolceforte, which is pasta with slow cooked wild boar and Tuscan sauce probably looked the least appetising but it was met with approving nods and murmurs.
The Casoncelli alla Bergamasca were parcels of mystery meat which I really enjoyed. The pasta was light and the filling tender and tasty.
The wait between courses was very long and I am assuming it was because we were a table of 18, and part of a degustation. Other patrons appeared to be served relatively quickly. However it was 10pm before our main meals came out although they were worth waiting for. My dish consisted of one slow cooked piece of rankin cod and one crumbed piece, mousse in a Cecina wafer with Tuscany cabbage, smoked paprika and cherry tomato coulis. The seasoning on the crumbed fish was amazing and the slow cooked piece of fish fell off the fork, it was so delicious. My husband devoured the wafers and said they tasted like little pancakes.
He was served the free range spatchcock marinated in Mediterranean spices, chargrilled “diavola” style with homemade coriander and ginger mayo, rainbow carrots and chat potatoes. It was a large serving and he battled to finish it. The bite-sized potatoes weren’t floury and the spatchcock was tender with the spices leaving a tantalising taste in your mouth.
The Guance di manzo con polenta – beef cheeks slow cooked in Chianti red wine, just melted on your tongue. They were very juicy and the wine wasn’t overpowering.
The Cosciotto dágnello is WA lamb leg cooked in an almond sauce. Our dining companions thought the almond sauce was a strange addition and were not sure they were a good combination.
At 11pm a platter of desserts arrived and I couldn’t fit any more food in but the lemon tart, tiramisu, poached pear and the Italian dark chocolate with rum and amaretto were all tasted and exclaimed over and would probably have been finished if everyone wasn’t so full.
Davvero’s offers authentic Italian food, made by an authentic Italian chef owned by authentic Italian people. The generous portions of food are full of flavour, delivered by friendly waitstaff and prices are comparable. For a true taste of Italy, drop in for a feed and a drop of Prosecco.