Dinner Tue-Sun 5.30pm-10.30pm
Bells and whistles? There aren't any at this smart neighbourhood Italian restaurant, but that doesn't stop it having the gravitational pull of a black hole. Rita Macali's reputation spread citywide last decade with Ladro; now it's a family affair with husband Giovanni Patane schmoozing the floor with Italian wines and Macali in the kitchen. She sticks to the simple Italian brief so there's nowhere to hide, food-wise, but it's all achingly good thanks to the produce (quality), the treatment (sympathetic) and the styling (minimalist). From the brined lupini beans arriving gratis to a fuss-free chocolate panna cotta and raspberry sorbet, it's a meal played straight and true. A soulful bowl of shredded stracciatella in chicken broth is the Italian answer to Jewish penicillin, while arancini hit a smoky note with scamorza. As for the pizze, crisp yet pliable bases swing either bianco or rosso, topped with judiciously chosen ingredients. If pizze is the meaning of life, nirvana awaits.