It’s that time of year again. Sun kissed beach umbrellas, Aperol Spritz sundowners, dripping cones of gelato. Ah Italy in summer. Oh sorry, not one of the lucky ones swanning around the Amalfi Coast? Sick of seeing your friends social snaps and drooling over big bowls of fresh pasta?
We know we are. If you skipped the Italian summer and are sticking out winter like the rest of us, you’re ready to throw your phone in the bin. Never fear, Acre Eatery has come to the rescue. Our favourite bowlo-turned green garden dining venue has transformed into an Italian farmhouse for six weeks – until August 18th.
We’re talking cute bushels of pasta and dried herbs hanging from the ceiling, green and white striped awnings and even a few olive trees. They’re calling it an Italian farmhouse – we say it’s the most stylish farmhouse we’ve ever seen. And it works.
The terrace and the dining room have special menus throughout the take over – think oven roasted pizzas, delicate anti pasta platters and an entire breakfast bruschetta menu. Yes, yes and yes!! You’ll find breakfast and light dishes on the terrace, with the full blown Italian feasting happening inside the dining room.
They had us at the pop up Spritz bar but we popped in to check out the whole menu and wow we’re glad we didn’t max out the credit card on long haul flights to Europe. Executive Head Chef Gareth Howard does nothing by halves. We’re taken straight out of Camperdown and into the rolling hills of Tuscany with a share menu that has to be one of the best value dinners around town this Winter. For just $49 per person, you’ve got three courses to share – housemade wood-fired focaccia and an antipasti plate, a pasta (choose between slow cooked ragu or mushroom) and a main (we’re still thinking about the roasted lamb shoulder). Plus a bottle of house wine between two people. This is a real feast. If you don’t feel like lamb, there’s pasture-raised Porchetta. They’ve also thrown in a rocket and parmesan salad – this is a steal!
So much so that you should definitely add on dessert. Thirty five different Italian sweets will be literally rolled out to your table during the Italian takeover on the cutest dessert trolley we’ve seen in a while. It’s a tough choice. Grab a gooey brioche custard bun, a decadent hazelnut torte or jumbo cannoli.
Aside from the feasting menu (lunch and dinner, Weds-Fri), keep an eye out for a truffle dinner on July 20 and a candlelit dining experience on August 1st, along with hands on workshops throughout the take over. Our eyes are on the mozzarella making classes.
Camperdown Commons, 31A Mallett Street, Camperdown
Weds-Fri: 12pm – 11pm
Sat: 8am – 11pm
Sun 8am – 9pm