The Sorrento has been around for more than 50 years, at first in William Street but now happily ensconced in James Street serving up Italian food. We went along during the week and sat outside catching the breeze at the tables set up on the footpath.
As I said the menu revolves around traditional Italian – antipasto, chilli mussels, calamari, prawns in garlic sauce, pasta, risotto, pizza, scaloppine – you get the drift.
They boast a pretty good wine list with a number of Italian representatives.
We decided on a bottle of Morgante Nero D’Avola from Sicily for Lady FWO and me, while our daughter, accompanying us on our lunchtime visit, settled for a piccolo of Carpene Malvolti prosecco.
A couple of starters – smoked salmon carpaccio and polpette, followed by three mains – a pizza, pollo parmigiana, and off the lunchtime specials, barramundi – were our choices for food.
The salmon, a proprietary product, was fanned across the plate dotted with capers, red onion, lettuce, shaved parmigiano, and sprinkled with olive oil – simple, but full of the salty flavours of the fish and capers, moderated and complemented with sweet onion and nutty cheese.
The pork meatballs served in a rich, creamy tomato sauce were moist and juicy, well-seasoned, hearty fare.
Siciliana pizza – showed a crisp, crusty chewy base, topped with tomato, mozzarella, anchovies, capers, olives and oregano – a very good pizza indeed.
The slab of barramundi had a crisp roasted skin protecting moist and tender flesh, served with a splodge of roasted vegetables – peppers, zucchini topped with quinoa and a spicy tomato based sauce drizzled around the plate. It was a well presented plate and lived up to its looks – well cooked, excellent seasoning.
The chicken parma was a large, tender and succulent breast covered with a rich, mildly spicy tomato sauce and encased in melted mozzarella and parmigiana cheese. A pretty good exposition of this classic pub dish.
As for our wines, the Nero D’Avola is a deep ruby-red, with aromas of ripe black cherries, blackberries, and hints of vanilla and black pepper. The palate has abundant flavours of ripe fruit and spicy notes balanced by smooth tannins.
The prosecco has lifted aromas of peach and apple, with a pleasant, crisp, dry palate, with hints of apple and pear, good acid and a satisfying, lingering finish.
Sitting back after our meals and wine, a coffee or two and we were on our way, well satisfied with the quality and value of the food and drink from this time-honoured standard of Northbridge. If you are after old-style Italian, well cooked, at good prices, in pleasant surroundings, friendly waiters, then you should give Sorrento a go – its longevity speaks to its worth.