PROFILE BY BEST RESTAURANTS
While the two charming young things behind the counter might be the drawcard for some, one bite into their cafe's signature, la piadina, and your wandering eyes will be fixed on your dish. This round, flat peasant bread hails from the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy and has been making its mark on Aussie palates as the next great snack-food trend. Soft and chewy, and folded over a delicious belly full of goodies, the humble piadina has certainly gotten tongues wagging. Wacked on a hotplate and filled with a divine combination of cheese, meat and greens, there are 12 incarnations to choose from, plus two ever-changing specials. The classic is #3 – bursting with Parma prosciutto, rocket and stracchino; but, of course, the sweet Nutella option is also perennially popular. All ingredients are prepared fresh – from the freshly sliced prosciutto to the piadina dough – and, averaging around the $12 mark, these little beauties don't tug too tightly on the purse strings.
The charming, sun-dappled cafe opened in July 2008, blending polished wooden floorboards with splashes of metallic grey and an endearing entourage of toy monsters. (Look out for a lamp-chomping crocodile and dinosaurs hanging out on the window sill.) The Zizioli fratelli, Damiano and Fausto, brew darn good coffee and man the hotplates from their pint-sized quarters. Seating only a dozen or so lucky derrieres, La Piadina is the boys' first cafe in Australia since relocating from Brescia, Italy. The regulars sit at open windows nibbling on tarts, supping affogatos and embracing the homely atmosphere.