The restaurant space is beautiful – filled with natural light, loads of luscious greenery and simple decor – my favourite things when it comes to interiors.
Fran Mazza and Aaron Carson, the owners of Barbarino’s and other eateries like Friday I’m in Love, Sugar at Chelsea Bay, Winona Forever and Just Like Martha, welcomed us and enthusiastically explained the concept of the new restaurant – serving authentic and traditional Italian cuisine at an affordable price with a family-friendly atmosphere. And as Fran mentioned to us – they want to “keep it real”. The catchy Barbarino’s name harks back to Vinnie Barbarino in the classic 70’s show Welcome Back Kotter (John Travolta how you’ve changed)!
The menu is designed to mix and match your own selection of pasta, (from Spaghetti, and Rigatoni to Gnocchi) and sauce (Carbonara, Arrabbiata, Napoletana and many more). Additionally, the menu includes a wide selection of enticing baked pasta dishes like Traditional Lasagne – this one was one of our favourite dishes thanks to it’s silky softness, rich flavour and heavenly Béchamel sauce!
We started with Boscaiola Pappardelle - the pasta cooked perfectly al dente, with a decadent, flavour-packed sauce, covered with delicious creamy mushrooms.
Next up we indulged in an authentic Spaghetti Carbonara. This pasta is served according to the traditional recipe – no cream allowed!
The hearty Schnitzel Parmigiana with mozzarella, eggplant and parmesan cheese was outrageously good.
By now we were ready to break out the stretchy pants, but still managed to squeeze in some Gorgonzola Rigatoni – a gorgeous, filling and hearty pasta covered with chives, walnuts and breadcrumbs and the Gnocchi Marinara, which was amazing! The pillowy soft dough was perfectly combined with seafood, white wine and Napoletana – stunning.
After a wee break (and to be fair we were sharing!), we finished our evening with Cannoli (a pastry dough with a sweet, creamy mascarpone and fruit filling that originates from Sicily) and Torto Caprese Della Nonna – Chocolate Walnut Tart. It is difficult to decide which one was more indulgent…but for comparison purposes only, next time I visit Fran and Aaron, I will try the Tiramisu.
Barbarino’s offer is wide and varied, including some famous Italian pasta, risotto, salads and desserts. The drinks menu includes four wines by the carafe and Peroni. If you are looking for a delectable home-style, authentic and affordable Italian meal – this place is for you!
Monday & Tuesday, closed
Wednesday & Thursday, 5pm until 10pm
Friday, Saturday & Sunday, 11:30am until 10pm
1790 Great North Road