Prego Ristorante Italiano – Parma In Bronte
How important are neighbourhood restaurants to their neighbourhoods? Ask any commuter to the CBD, any mum at home with the kids or anybody who doesn’t want to take a cab to Paddington for a nice meal, and they’ll probably say that it’s really important. If that restaurant happens to be of supreme quality, then that is the icing on the cake. For those living in Bronte, they have one, and its name is Prego.
Meaning ‘welcome’ in Italian, Prego sits quietly on Macpherson Street and blends in nicely among a strip of small shops and cafes. The setting in the evening makes for a serene, calm atmosphere. Prego is owned by Rinaldo Boscaro, an Italian chef from Parma who welcomes families and patrons to his tables with the goal of filling them with love, in the form of his authentically Italian creations of notable portions. The décor is not overwhelmingly busy; it radiates an orange glow and is kitted out with paintings, photos and a large wine rack that forms an upside down ‘U’ around the archway leading to the bar.
Once my companions and I were seated by Rinaldo and his chief mate Craig, we were provided with aperitifs of DOCG Prosecco (DOCG being a quality assurance label for Italian food products). The sparkling wines were a perfect choice to get our palates ready for the variety of starters about to come. We enthusiastically dug into the beef tenderloin carpaccio, flash-fried calamari and buffalo mozzarella with avocado. The creamy mozzarella chunks had a slightly firm shell but were soft and creamy on the inside. The carpaccio melted in our mouths, while the calamari and octopus were light and tender within their battered coats.
What’s an Italian meal without Italian wine? Our choice was a 2011 Le Coste Suave Classico, also DOC, which perfectly complemented the flavours of the mains. Chosen by Rinaldo, these mains included the ‘catch of the day’ snapper in lemon butter, tender veal scaloppini, biglio (spaghetti) with prawns and another variant with vegetables, and a portion of possibly the largest spinach and ricotta ravioli I have ever eaten. All the pasta is made from scratch in-house and you can taste the freshness with your first bite.
We were having such a good time with wine, dinner and Craig’s stories that we outlasted everyone and ended up with the whole place to ourselves by 9pm. It was Bronte on a Wednesday night, after all. Not wanting to leave without dessert, we were treated to a devilishly rich presentation of panna cotta, chocolate gelato and tiramisu that made me forget about Messina for a moment.
After licking the last sweet morsels from our plates, we were all well and truly satisfied and finally allowed Rinaldo and his staff to start making their way home. Bronte may not bear much resemblance to the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna, but its residents have a piece of it right on Macpherson Street.
Prego Ristorante Italiano
Address | 65B Macpherson St, Bronte
Phone | (02) 9389 8879
Website | www.pregosristoranteitaliano.com.au
Email | firstname.lastname@example.org
Open | Mon – Sat, 6pm-10:30pm; closed Sun
Prices | Mains $25-$30; Pasta $19-$22
Seats | 30
Cards | All major cards
Licensed/BYO | Yes