Mid week a couple of friends and I decided to try one of Claremont's newer offerings, Italian restaurant Nolita. This is not like any italian restaurant you have been to before. The food is indicative of some serious brains behind the menu, the staff are friendly (if not a little flirtatious), the decor is gorgeous and the drinks are free flowing. Which is good.
The atmosphere is welcoming and makes you feel very comfortable. So much so that for the first half an hour we kept forgetting to order food because we were so engrossed in conversation and wine drinking.
We eventually decided that we had better order some starters and ordered the polenta chips $9.50 (for my gluten intolerant self) and the pea and fetta bruschetta $13.50 with a bottle of Headlines house red $35.
For mains we ordered the volipo (octopus salad) $19.50, a caprese salad $16.50 and the baccala (salt cod croquettes) $16.50. I know ordering entrees for mains seems like a bit of a cop out but we had caught sight of the dessert menu and had decided it was worth the sacrifice.
Volipo : Tom absolutely adored this. The octopus was tender and had it a spicy/salty finish which was complimented well by the parsley.
Baccala: Dan said these were gorgeously crunchy with a beautiful salty and soft interior. They were balanced well with the tomato sauce which added some much needed freshness to the dish.
Caprese salad: This is an absolute favourite of mine and I tend to order it whenever I see it. This, as expected, was close to perfect with the cheese being so fresh it fell apart and the tomatoes were ripe and very sweet. Next time I will order the olive oil on the side though as the kitchen is very liberal with it and I could have done with a little less.
For dessert Tom decided his wine was enough but Dan and I both decided that was a ridiculous idea and ordered a dish each. I was so impressed that three out of the seven desserts offered were gluten free making it very hard to choose what I wanted. In the end we decided on the pannacotta with blood orange and bitter Campari jelly $14.50 orange and jelly and the budeino $15.50.
This dish was insane. The pannacotta was super rich and creamy but pared back with the blood orange and bitter Campari jelly it was perfectly balanced. The hazelnuts on top gave the dessert a nice textural element and I would very much like one of these a day for the rest of my life.
The budeino was rich and decadent sticky date-esque pudding with the crunchy caramel topping adding a delicious crunch.
We really enjoyed our dinner at Nolita. The food is clever - its not your usual italian fare but it has been reworked to still be familiar while adding new flavours and textures. The staff were top notch which is somewhat of a rarity in Perth. Our glasses were always full, plates were cleared promptly and they even gave me a few photography tips with the dishes. I was really impressed with the wide selection of gluten free options, i'm not used to having so much choice at an italian restaurant and I will definitely be back!