Every Sydney-sider has their go-to Italian restaurant. With so many options available, sticking to your local sure makes life easier so you can focus on making other difficult decisions like choosing the pizza or the pasta…or both. But this weekend, Mum and I decided to be a little bit more adventurous. We headed into the quiet, little inner west suburb of Summer Hill to try a much loved neighbourhood gem, Da Vinci’s Italian Restaurant.

 

 Da Vinchi's Summer Hill  Da Vinchi's Summer Hill  da Vinchi's Summer Hill

The huge mural painted on the side of Da Vinci's grabbed our attention as soon as we stepped inside the Summer Hill plaza. The mural, coupled with the adjacent fountain, gives the location a piazza atmosphere, perfect for enjoying italian food. 

 Da Vinchi's Summer Hill  Da Vinchi's Summer Hill Vinchi's Summer Hill  Da Vinchi's Summer Hill Vinchi's Summer Hill

It was a beautiful autumn afternoon, so we chose to sit at an outdoor table, on the sidewalk of the tree-lined main street. We enjoyed the simple, but surprisingly peaceful setting as we sipped on a citrusy Aperol Spritz, listened to the busker play music across the street and browsed the menu. As we were reading the menu items, we realised how much we had been limiting ourselves by always going to the same Italian restaurant.

da Vinchi's Summer Hill  da Vinchi's Summer Hill Vinchi's Summer Hill  Da Vinchi's Summer Hill  

Da Vinci’s is a family owned restaurant, which prides itself on serving authentic food with a predominately Roman influence. We asked the restaurant to serve us some of their favourites, which all happened to be dishes we had never tasted or even heard of before. To start, we had Scamorza Affumicata, “smoked mozzarella cheese wrapped in pancetta drizzled with balsamic vinegar cream”. These tasty, little bite-sized morsels were the perfect way to excite our tastebuds for the rest of the meal.

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Next we shared a bowl of pasta, Orecciette Broccoli E Salsiccia, “homemade orecchiette with Italian sausage and broccoli, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil”. Both mum and I love broccoli, so really enjoyed this, especially with a generous sprinkling of parmesan. This dish encompasses the Italian food philosophy that using just a few, fresh and good quality ingredients can create a hearty and flavoursome meal.

Da Vinchi's Summer Hill  Da Vinchi's Summer Hill  Da Vinchi's Summer Hill

After that, we had a pizza, the Norma, “fior di latte, deep fried eggplants, shaved salted ricotta & fresh basil”. The pizza dough at Da Vinci’s is made from unrefined flour and matures for 48 hours before being rolled thinly and cooked in a woodfire oven which results in a crispy, light pizza base. This base, topped with a subtle, house made tomato sauce, pieces of sweet, creamy eggplant and a sprinkling of cheese is another example of how simple ingredients work best.

da Vinchi's Summer Hill  Da Vinchi's Summer Hill  da Vinchi's Summer Hill

Incredibly, Da Vinci’s also make their own gelato on site using their traditional family recipe. The back of the restaurant is set up like a coffee and dessert bar, which appears to be a well kept local secret. We were tempted by the huge variety of mouth-watering gelato's on display and ended up tasting quite a few. We loved their version of the classics like chocolate and hazelnut, but we both couldn’t go past getting a scoop of Da Vinci’s ‘Gelato World Tour’ award winning flavour, Lemon Zest with Fig Marmalade and Dark Chocolate. Mum also had the Croccantino which she said rivalled gelato she had tasted anywhere else. As we enjoyed our dessert we were again reminded of how Da Vinci’s has managed to bring it’s diners a unique, yet authentic experience of Italian Cuisine. 

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To finish off a perfect afternoon in we wandered through the surrounding shops and soaked up Summer Hill's unique village atmosphere. The tranquility here made it easy to forget we were so close to the city.

Location: 25 Lackey Street Summer Hill
Contact: (02) 9716 9000
Price: $18-$28 for mains and pizzas
Hours: Open Monday to Friday from 5.00pm to 9.30pm. Open weekends from 11.00am to 3.00pm and 5.00pm to late

Western Sydney Food Blog were guests of Da Vinci's Italian Restaurant. Our meal was complimentary. Views expressed in this blog post are our own.

 

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