Sometimes the girls and I like to live on the edge. We felt like a hearty Italian meal one cold Friday night. Kingston was the obvious choice as every third restaurant in Kingston tends to be Italian. But we couldn't really remember the names of any of the restaurants or which ones we've tried or which ones are meant to be good (the multiple cups of mulled wine that some of us had prior to the dining decision might have had something do with the temporary memory loss). So the decision was made that where we eat will be where we find parking. Yep, living on the edge! So the winner was La Capanna; a place all three of us walk past nearly on a daily basis but yet to have tried!
Obviously La Capanna isn't one of those restaurants that will win any awards for the wow factor in their interior design. The exterior screams home style rustic Italian and it does what it says on the tin.
La Capanna was delightfully warm and inviting on a bitterly cold winter night. The vibe is one of casual home style pizzeria feel. Judging by how busy they were and by the mix of people dining from young families to groups of pollies, La Capanna is obviously a neighbourhood favourite that we had overlooked all this time.
The decor is rustic and simple. Wooden tables and rendered green and terracotta walls adorned with kitsch ornaments (that Nonna possibly picked out) dominate the cosy space. The service was efficient and casual. The menu is impressively extensive with all the usual Italian fare of breads, pastas, pizzas and salads as well as a wine list that is very simple and well priced.
We were starving so decided to order a shared entree of bruschetta with anchovies, fresh tomato, olive oil, basil and garlic to start the night. The bread, I was told, was nice and crusty. The tomato was lovely and juicy. We all wished there was more than two anchovies per bruschetta as we are a bit crazy about salty little fishies.
I had the spaghetti Fantasia which came with salmon pieces in a sauce of olive oil, garlic and blue vein cheese. This was a lovely plate of comfort. There was a generous amount of salmon with the pasta and the blue vein cheese in the sauce wasn't overly creamy which I liked but the taste was extremely subtle which I wish wasn't the case as I love a strong blue vein flavour. But it was a hearty and filling dish and there was definitely enough pasta there for a doggy bag for lunch next day.
The girls had the beef lasagne and the Fettuccine La Capanna (tomato base with sundried tomato, capers, anchovies, olives and garlic). Again, hearty, comfort dishes made using quality ingredients and enough love to give you the warm and fuzzies.
So the verdict: If you are in the mood for a good old home style Italian meal in a casual dining environment you couldn't go wrong with La Capanna. Obviously the food or the experience wasn't anywhere on the same level as my favourite Italian restaurants in town Italian and Sons or Loading Zone but all the pasta dishes we tried hit the spot and they were well priced. I hear the pizzas are all the rave here so might have to report back on that in the not too distant future!