The ristorante you didn’t know you needed in your life is better than you ever could have imagined.

Okay, so it’s very, very noisy. And it could be considered a pimped-up trattoria, boasting Italian clichés like meatballs with soft polenta and panna cotta. But Joel Valvasori’s classic diner is way more than it seems at first; it’s bold on flavour, as generous as a nonna, and as sexy as an Italian lover.

Braised milk-fed goat and green beans stewed with tomato come kissed with chilli – a prime example of less-is-more. The pasta, perhaps saffron spaghettini with clams, is more than deftly handled, perfectly al dente and with just the essential amount of oil. Tiramisù, meanwhile, which could be a naff afterthought, is instead given a lusty makeover with grappa.

Joel Valvasori’s classic diner is way more than it seems at first; it’s bold on flavour, as generous as a nonna, and as sexy as an Italian lover.

What’s not to love about a place that can pour Campari as easily as it can vermouth, or an unbelievably good Gattinara for a paltry $39 a glass? Come simply for a bowl of exceptional corzetti (coin pasta) with pine nuts, or a slap-up dinner with a bill to match; in the tradition of great eateries in the old country, Lulu’s can do it all. And every step of the way they make you feel not only welcome, but adored.