Sunday, February 26, 2006

Il Locale, Ramsey St, Haberfield


Il Locale, Ramsey St, Haberfield
Sunday 26 February, 2006

My favourite pizza place in Haberfield has always been Napoli in Bocca. I did a pizza making class there early last year and loved the experience. But, tonight I was exposed to some of the best, if not the best Italian food in Sydney.

Tonight was a surprise dinner for a friend - she had no idea we would be there and her reactions and expressions were priceless. First, she seemed to acknowledge our presence then ignore us completely. It was both hilarious and insulting at the same time. Once reality set in there were laughs all round & the constant reminder that we will never let her forget what happened.

Il Locale serve northern italian food - pastas, pizzas, meat, fish etc. The menu is far more extensive than I imagined. We all decided to share a selection of pizzas and the rocket & parmesan salad. It was hard to decide the pizzas but we settled on the:

Pazza - hot salami, gorgonzola, anchovie and chilli;
Napoli - anchovie and olive;
Etna - sausage, peas and mushrooms; and
Parmignana - eggplant, parmesan and proscuitto.

Without a doubt, my selection (Pazza) was the best - the cheese with salami and chilli was perfect and the anchovie was hard to detect (just the way I like it). I was eating with a tough crowd, serious foodies and one from an Italian background. Their comments sum up the experience, "Simple, yet true to form Northern Italian food", "Beautiful and flavoursome" and "The best pizza in Sydney".

The service is average - one minute they are attentive, helpful and on top of things, the next they are forgetful (we had to ask for more water three times) and distracted. Il Locale is BYO which makes it a reasonably priced place to visit.

The interior is large and spacious with beautiful wooden chairs and tables. The tables however are too small - why don't restaurants get this? If you can't fit a main meal, bread plate and a few glasses on your place setting - the table is too small. There's nothing worse that having to turn away food because there is no more room on the table.....

Il Locale - 94A Ramsay Street Haberfield - (02) 9797 8966

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