SI Autumn Masthead
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Salotto: Italian with heart

Ray Mardia

If you are looking for a warm, welcoming restaurant-meets-bar to hang out with your friends and loved ones, look no further than Salotto.

The name itself means ‘big room’ in Italian, and Salotto proved to be a grand space for people coming together to celebrate the good times in life at last night’s opening.

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Salotto’s atmosphere strikes a charming balance between modern and cosy, edgy and rustic. The décor is eclectic on purpose, bringing together the best of Italian comfort and urban Australian energy. The outside tables and lounges are perfect for relaxing and people-watching, capturing the spirit of a lazy weekend in Roma.

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Inside the bar, Salotto is spacious and warm. Complete with a red and yellow photo-collage wall and earthy coffee tables, it has a decidedly modern feel. There’s an amazing bar, complete with subtle lights and filled with every drink from A-Z. The tables are arranged in a way that you can be with a group of people just as easily as you can whisk yourself away to an intimate table for two in the corner.

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The lighting was classic: candles flickered like fireflies against a worn brick wall which bore the Salotto logo. Other stand out features include beautiful potted plants and cushions, both of which bring balance to the room.

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The music was (literally) funky and I (often) danced to titles like Uptown Funk, Play that Funky Music, Daft Punk remixes and other tunes. Special mention also goes out to Chris the magician, whose card tricks actually blew my mind.The staff and service alone are worth the trip. A special mention goes out to the manager, Kamal, who was so friendly and attentive. He always checked up on myself and everybody else to ensure that food and drinks were flowin’ throughout the night.

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Following Kamal’s lead, the waiters and waitresses were all on point, bringing us a string of delicious starters. We started with antipasti of cured meats and cheese, followed by a three meat ragu pizza, and finished with samples of their zucchini fritters, steak and meatballs. The fritters were melt-in-your-mouth yet crispy and well-seasoned. Try them with the balsamic aioli, which is creamy and full of flavour.

The steak was tender (if a little rare, but that’s just personal preference). The meatballs genuinely felt like they were cooked with Italian motherly love. The portion sizes were generous and staff always made sure that we were well fed – not unlike what an Italian friend or relative would do! I’m really excited to try some of the other dishes on their menu, which is a fresh interpretation of modern Italian cuisine.

Antipasti Platter

Antipasti Platter

 

Overall, Salotto is a restaurant that seemed so comfortable in its own skin, it felt like it has already been established for years. This is definitely a credit to Pasquale and the team from Santa Lucia, a restaurant which is a long-standing veteran in the Canberra culinary scene.

If you want a modern place for dinner with an old school charm in which to hang out and have a good night, do check out Salotto. With an atmosphere that caters to so many different moods and occasions, Salotto is off to a truly exciting start.

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the essentials
What: Salotto Bar and Restaurant
Where: 25 Kennedy Street Kingston
Web: salottobar.com

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Ray Mardia works as a lawyer in Canberra and can recite most of the lyrics of Baby Got Back. An epicurean at heart, Ray loves the good life, people's stories, nature, art and beauty in all its forms. Ray is a lifestyle contributor at HerCanberra. More about the Author

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