Simple, seasonal and regional Italian fare is the go at Thirty Eight Chairs. Which is hardly a surprise. This is a business brought to you by Caffe e Cucina manager Gino Forlanno and partner Alessandra DeLuca. With Peppe Di Mauro in the kitchen (Caffe e Cucina, Enoteca Sileno), you're looking at great Italian produce, simply prepared, and given the freedom to blow its own horn.
You may feel like you’ve just walked into mamma’s house, but this is a crew of professionals who know their strokes. You'll get a cheerful Italian greeting - the staff here are from all over the boot, so you may get some Sicilian fire one day, and few Napoli tall tales the next. On Time Out's visit, the waiter sits for a short time while explaining the menu and offering a wine match to suit.
Hit the pappadelle with slow cooked duck ragu and shaved Pecorino, or order the chef’s selection of entrees that feature grilled baby calamari, peppered tuna carpaccio (thin slices of raw fish), and school prawns – those little suckers that you can eat whole, shells and all. Or perhaps you just want to grab a few slices of salumi and a mozzarella boll from their dedicated mozzarella bar? For vegetarians, there are dishes like paccheri alla norma: rich tomato sugo (sauce, since you ask), eggplant and smoked mozzarella, or how about twists of fusilli pasta rumbled with bitter radicchio, gorgonzola and a crunch of walnuts? Try, if you can, to leave room for an espresso and dessert. We're all about the crema all'arancio. You get a dish of rich baked orange-infused custard with a thwack of vanilla creme. We'd cross town for this sucker.
Got a big posse? On Sunday, groups and families can sit back and enjoy a long sharing style luncheon.
Go in for pasta and stay for the day; it’s that kinda place.