The Bernardi brothers’ eponymous Italian fits right into Portman Village, where appearances might not be everything but are certainly a factor: the neat streetside terrace, marble tables and mildly distressed leather provide a “chilled” bolthole for daytime socialising, the brothers’ Australian influences keep things playful and service is “very accommodating”. One-time Roux Scholarship finalist Sabrina Gidda has a handle on what’s needed in the food department: porchetta with spring greens, salsa verde and polenta roasties for Sunday lunch, aperitivi snacks of polpette and arancini, plus more serious dishes in between. Try spinach and ricotta gnudi with datterini tomatoes and basil, followed by stone bass fillet with mussels, saffron and samphire or lamb rump with goats’ cheese, stuffed artichoke and black olive sauce. Desserts are simple reworkings of the greats, from Amalfi lemon posset with fennel biscotti to mascarpone cheesecake with cherries and pistachio. Also check out the colourful Dog House basement bar and courtyard.
Interior image credit: Etienne Gilfillan