Capriccio Osteria & Bar Leichhardt, Review

Eat, Sydney / 16 May 2018

Travel to the Southern Italian coast at Capriccio Osteria & Bar, where the food is delicious and the service is friendly and relaxed.

Positano is a small coastal town situated on the rocky cliffs of Southern Italy’s Amalfi coast. Positano is a beautiful beachfront destination frequented by holidaymakers, Hollywood stars and hikers. It is also where Michael Rispoli, owner of Capriccio Osteria & Bar, learnt his trade.
Having grown up working for his parents in their beachfront hotel and restaurant in Positano, Rispoli has hospitality in his blood. Rispoli’s experience shines through at Capriccio Osteria & Bar. Here, the food is simple and delicious and the service is friendly and relaxed.
We enjoyed a late lunch at Capriccio Osteria on a dreary Saturday afternoon. We were at first disappointed to miss out on the alfresco dining experience, as we had heard that the outdoor tables were the perfect spot for an afternoon Spritz. But despite the dull weather, the restaurant’s interior was warm and buzzing.
We were seated at a high table on stools overlooking the bar and open kitchen, complete with a wood-fired oven. In the kitchen, where chef Nicole Bampton (ex-Tetsuya’sLucio’s and Sepia) works her magic, everything is made from scratch. The pasta, bread, dessert pastries – you name it. Even the limoncello liquor is made in-house.
The menu features a standalone section dedicated to the wood fired oven with offerings such as Stracciatella with roasted figs & vincotto ($15) and zucchini filled with ricotta, pecorino and mint finished with a tomato sugo ($14). The house-made focaccia with rosemary and sea salt ($5) is a perfect accompaniment to mop up the juices from both delicious dishes.
From the antipasti, the pea and saffron Arancini with aioli ($15) did not disappoint and came in a generous serving. Next time we are back, we want to try the Wagyu Beef Carpaccio with pecorino, rocket and walnut agrodolce ($26).
Choosing between the different kinds of pasta is a challenge in itself. However on a recommendation, we opted for the Squid Ink Spaghetti with blue swimmer crab, chilli and basil ($29). This dish was incredible – substantial but light, with a liberal serving of crab meat.
Despite our full bellies we decided to fully explore the dessert menu, trialling the cannoli filled with pistachio cream ($13), the pear and honeycomb ice-cream ($5 per scoop) and a modern take on the Affagato served with liquorice ice-cream ($10). Each dish was exquisite. The homemade ice-cream was something to be reckoned with.
In a suburb saturated with Italian eateries, this one stands out. Capriccio Osteria & Bar is a no-fuss, family-friendly spot that ticks just about every box.
Capriccio Osteria & Bar, 159 Norton Street, Leichhardt 2040, Open Tuesday – Thursday: 4pm – 10pm, Friday & Saturday: 12pm – 10pm late, Sunday: 12pm – 9pm; Monday: Closed