Il Lido is a unique offering. It is styled as an Italian restaurant on the popular Cottesloe beachfront. Guests dine at long, common tables (just like Hogwarts) and it has a wine list that would make a New York sommelier weep for joy. Interesting eh?
One of Australia’s finest sommeliers, Daniel Wegener, has curated the wine offer with his trademark enthusiasm, energy and love of lesser known but delightful labels from around the world. Chef Roberto Zampogna creates modern-Italian dishes with their feet in Italy’s rural past and their heart in 2017 Perth.
Il Lido is the go-to stalwart for the well-heeled and wealthy of the Western suburbs. It is equally popular with their kids – the jeunesse dorée of this leafy, seaside suburb – and groups of mums in active wear, who enjoy its shared plates and excellent drinks.
There are always four to five pastas on offer. They are impeccably cooked and generously sized. The best of them is a matter of personal taste but, for us, the orecchiette with pork and fennel sausage and florets of broccoli, floats our boat. Perhaps it’s the generous addition of butter in the final moments which emulsified into an unctuous sauce of great flavour and gloss.
From the antipasti section, chargrilled cuttlefish – far superior to squid in our estimation – was served simply with a course chop of green herbs and large “cheeks” of green olives. Similarly, Il Lido’s veal and pork polpette are as soft as a politician’s promise and well seasoned. We suspect the beer-soaked sourdough may make the difference. Mains include simply charred swordfish with cannellini beans and coffee-rubbed roast Dorper lamb.
Back to the wines. Wegener is has a well-earned reputation for the proper training of his staff. They are seriously knowledgeable about the wine they sell and they offer advice without condescension or eye-brow raising. The wine list has over 500 titles, many of them Italian.
All this and beachside views. La dolce vita!