Finally, dinner at il Baretto. Met up with 2 friends and made the trek up Foveaux Street from Central station, which is a bitch but it proved to be worth it. Its a really steep slope as we neared our destination. We left our name and number with the waitress and hopped over to the pub across the road, which is the typical solution for most people making the trip here. The miniscule shop is inversely proportional to its popularity, which meant that we waited for an hour, sipping on beers, watching Blondie on the telly. We also took a bottle of vino over. I bet the pub is killing it with all this extra traffic.

Service was sharp and cheery, friendly and prompt. I’d have to say it was one of the things that stuck in my mind. Some people complained about getting the bill without being asked but this place needs a high turnover to get by. Its not a fine diner and the prices tell you so. BYO but with tumblers but who cares. The place isn’t anything to crow about. Its tiny but no one gives a shit about something like that. Here, its all about the food, which is also remarkably good value compared against the quality on offer.

First up was Bruschetta al Pomodoro, which we shared, one slice each. As boring and plain as it may appear, I took a first bite, which reminded me I needed to take pics. It was full, perfectly salted and the olive oil was great. Just clean simple fresh ingredient and letting the quality show. Completely unpretentious and wholly delightful.

My mate had a Porcini Risotto which was good. I didn’t have too much myself but I remember thinking its what I’d expect of a good risotto, good flavor, good texture and consistency.

My other friend opted for the Spaghetti Vongole, which was surprisingly good. Very clean, very full flavor despite the minimalism of the dish itself. It was clammy but not nauseating.

My choice was the pick though, Papardelle with Duck Ragu. Really good duck breathing throughout the dish, which was amped up after I dunked some cheese over. The sauce was pretty kickass and the duck lent a meaty, savory texture to proceedings.

We also got dessert and this Tiramisu was elegant and light but for me, it disappointed and failed to lift me up much. I guess I just like my good ole mom’s sloppy, sludgy version.

Next was a slice of Spumone, a gelato cake which was good without being overly impressive. Its just ice cream after all.

And finally, my pick, the Panna Cotta, which came with a wonderful spiced red wine caramel. The super smooth custard was brill when you paired with the tangy sauce, which I pretty much licked clean.

Overall, I really enjoyed myself. The food was always great. I haven’t had better pasta than here. The flavors are just so clean, fresh and full and I think its not easy to find places better than this. Perhaps slightly overhyped and/or in need of expansion but I’d brave the hour long wait again in a heartbeat. Its almost a little too good to be true.

il Baretto
496 Bourke Street, Surry Hills NSW 2010
(02) 9361 6163
Tue to Sat 8am – 3pm
Mon to Sat 6pm – 10pm
about 30 pax incl. corkage and 2+1 courses.