A sophisticated, sexy and grown-up space where Italian-ish wine and clever, adventurous food with Italian DNA are seamlessly integrated.

Some menus over-egg words; some the opposite. The result can be, in turns, disappointing or a thrill. And so it is that “scallop crudo, nespole (loquat), smoked lardo” doesn’t set you up for one of the most sophisticated small dishes in any WA venue right now, a passion-play of strangely harmonious flavours that, like La Madonna itself, leaves a powerful impression.

Then there’s the wine list, that explores the wealth of Italian grapes grown there and here by small producers, and scatters rare and beautiful cult classics on top. Like at Melbourne’s Di Stasio Città, or some of Sydney’s line-blurring bar-restaurants, the interpretation of Italianity here draws on sophistication rather than mere tradition.

And so it is that “scallop crudo, nespole (loquat), smoked lardo” doesn’t set you up for one of the most sophisticated small dishes in any WA restaurant right now, a passion-play of strangely harmonious flavours that, like La Madonna itself, leaves a powerful impression.

A silver-plate tray with crunchy, fine potato millefoglie with piped sauce gribiche and pickled shallot; crostini with whipped ricotta that are all about the texture of the bread, the cooked level of the beans and sugar snap peas, the cream of the curd. The nuance and consideration in chef Christopher Caravella’s food is impressive. And that’s before cestini filled with lamb shoulder and sheep’s feta in a burnt onion broth with baby peas, or squid-ink fettuccine with raw tuna, shichimi togarashi, blood orange and anchovy butter. Wow moments.

The owner and a somm work the floor; the vibe stimulating, hospitable and rather damned sexy. A suburban gem dishing up a refreshing take on Italia.