PROFILE BY BEST RESTAURANTS
Never been to Milan? Don't worry there's always time. For now you can get close with a visit to La Pesa Trattoria where the spirit of Italy bubbles feverishly in Italian-inspired decor and authentic cuisine. The younger sister of a Milanese restaurant of the same name, La Pesa is the creation of Michael and Maki Dackiw. Having come back to Australia after a collective 12 years of travelling and living in Europe, they searched as far as Byron Bay to find a spot to continue their romance with Milano. But it was the curved archways and historic characteristics of the heritage-listed building on the corner of Liverpool and Yurong Streets that won them over. It didn't take too much decorating to turn the spot into a relaxed trattoria – complete with wine-bottle lined walls, rustic wooden tables and original 60s and 70s black and white photographs taken by celebrated Milanese photographer, Virgilio Carnasio.
In step, the menu was designed to be a testament to the Milanese kitchen with La Pesa Milano chefs, Marco Devecchi and Mauro Manenti, being lured to shuffle the pans in Sydney. The result is a collection of handmade pastas and authentic dishes like Milanese antipasto (pancetta, coppa, handmade hot bread, oven-roasted capsicums and caramelised balsamic onions), oven-baked ossobuco served on creamy saffron risotto with bone marrow and mondeghili Milanesi serviti con polenta e funghi trifolati (traditional Milanese meatballs served with polenta and sauteed mushrooms), finding a permanent home on the menu. As for the rest of the selection? Expect it to change monthly as the chefs get creative with seasonal produce. Pair your meal with a glass of wine or an Italian cocktail (perhaps a spiced caramel espresso martini will tempt you?), close your eyes and you'll find yourself half-way to Europe.