If you, like us, are guilty of more than a few visits to La Tavolaccia you may, like us, also shed a tear. It was our local. A BYO Italian restaurant that served cheap bowls of penne bolognaise, '80s-style salads and garlic bread in a funny, half-empty little courtyard up the pointy end of Glebe Point Road. And we loved it.
It's gone, but it's not forgotten. The dinky little trattoria has gone to that big red-sauce joint in the sky, replaced with Ombretta. It looks like all of Glebe’s crammed in for a look. And with good reason.
Inside, the glossy tiled bar features a big glass display case filled with dishes of olives, anchovies and roast vegetables alongside hunks of parmesan, silky slices of mortadella and soft prosciutto. Kick back with a selection of antipasti and take a look at the blackboard menu displaying the day’s specials. Claim a seat in the courtyard if the weather’s treating you right.
That blackboard menu changes pretty regularly – on one visit there’s orecchiette with broccoli, sausage, anchovy and (fairly raw and hot) chilli. On another, it’s a wild boar ragu with rags of fettuccine. A spaghetti carbonara might lack that typical Roman cheese and pepper burn but it’s a straight and tasty rendition all the same. Cooking the pasta a little less and salting the pasta water a little more, however, applies across the board.
Still, a thick custard crowned with a baked pear drizzled in a syrup of its own cooking juices is a very sweet way to end your meal here, and service is pitched at exactly the right mix of personal and fun. For now Ombretta are still BYO (their license should come through any day now) but you’ve got the Little Bottle Shop of Glebe just a few doors up.