Let Andrea and Valerio, two old Italian friends, welcome you into their osteria for a hearty Italian meal.
There’s nothing quite like finding a new neighbourhood Italian and although Casa Misa Osteria isn’t new to Newtown, it’s certainly caught our attention. Located on King Street, the shop front is always bustling with people and can be easy to miss. But make no mistakes about the unassuming entrance because what’s being served inside is far from ordinary.
You’re welcomed by staff who feel like old friends, which is what you’d expect from a restaurant run by two Italians. Andrea Nazzari, previously leading the floor at iconic Sydney venues including Tetsuya & Rockpool Bar & Grill, and Valerio Boncampagni have a friendship dating back to their time in Italy. Together they bring a warm and friendly atmosphere to Casa Mia Osteria that makes the space feel like home. This is exactly what they’re going for with the name “Casa Mia” which means “my home” in Italian.
Chef Boncompagni cooks everything in-house, the traditional Italian way. You can expect fresh sourdough and focaccia, as well as cured meats which hang at the back of the restaurant. Curing meat is a passed-down family tradition in Italy, one that Boncampagni is fond of as it takes him back to his childhood in Toscana. Depending on the day you visit, you could be delighted by pancetta, Wagyu bresaola, capocollo, lamb prosciutto, finocchiona, mortadella, nduja or guanciale, which all just melt in your mouth.
It wouldn’t be an Italian osteria without pasta and you can expect it all to be made in-house using Caputo, the finest Italian flour. Expect the classics like rigatoni next to the more curious shapes like malloreddus, matched with sauces that reflect the best seasonal produce. On our visit, we tried the creamy Spaghetti Carbonara with homemade guanciale, egg yolk, and pecorino cheese. The staff delivers it to your table straight from the pan and it always amazes us how just three ingredients can create something so decadent and delicious. We suggest that seafood lovers try the Clam Spaghetti with potato emulsion, and smoked bonito broth.
The signature dish is the Braised Octopus with potato and leek velouté. The chef knows exactly what he’s doing with the octopus, served tender, succulent, and ready to take on the flavours of the creamy velouté. This is a must-order dish on the menu that keeps the locals coming back time and time again.
Casa Mia Osteria is also serving up Pinsa Romana which is somewhere between a focaccia and a traditional Napoletana pizza cooked in the woodfire oven. It’s long and oval in shape but the key difference is in the base. The dough is made of three different flours including soy, rice, and wheat which is fermented for 72 hours making it easy to digest and giving it depth of flavour. For a classic, try the Buffalo Margherita with a sweet tomato base, basil, and Parmigiano. If you like a little spice, try the Nduka with spicy salami, caramelised red onion, and ricotta. We also loved the sound of the Truffle Ham with asiago cheese and truffle honey.
Nazzari is able to pick a tipple to suit your tastes and the dishes to come. The list covers everything from traditional Italian varietals to more biodynamic and innovative creations.
Looking for a special? Monday is BYO night for $10 a bottle, Tuesday is Roman pasta night where you can get Carbonara, Amatriciana, or Cacio e Pepe with a glass of house wine for just $28, and Saturday for lunch and dinner you can order their marinated and roasted porchetta for $34.
Casa Mia Osteria is open Monday to Saturday for dinner and lunch on Saturdays with takeaway available. Find out more here.