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il Piatto

In a city enveloped by ocean, we are certainly spoilt for choice when it comes to seaside dining, with clubs and restaurants dotted along the coast. For something a little bit special, with a touch of glamour and a great excuse to get dressed up, you can’t go past the seaside setting that is il Piatto.

Nestled within Mindil Beach Casino Resort, this gorgeous Italian restaurant is perfectly positioned, its floor to ceiling windows making the most of views across the Arafura Sea.

Head Chef Antonio MoramarcoInside, wooden oak chairs hug tables laden with fresh-pressed white linen tablecloths, whilst the outdoor deck offers elegant European bistro style seating, all tables dotted with fresh, crystal cut glasses. Whether you find your seat inside or out, both options offer a glorious space in which to sample some Italian fare from the extensive menu.

Head Chef Antonio Moramarco hails from the southern-Italian coastline of Puglia, which is famous for its bread. In fact, his family is in the bakery business with a focus on gluten-free baked goods.

Chef Antonio has worked in Milan and Sydney, but – luckily for us – he’s called Darwin home for the past two years. He says the core elements of Italian dining are what make il Piatto special.

“Simple ingredients, fresh produce, the use of the handmade techniques, and a bag full of passion for what we do,” he says.

“The culinary culture of my country is reflected every day on what we prepare, the ingredients we use and how we cook them, then the flavours and the presentation of a dish to transport our eyes and memories back home.

“One final ingredient is our customers’ preferences, a key point that we have to consider, because that’s what a dining experience is all about, customer satisfaction!”

And satisfied you will be, with a tempting selection of delicious dishes on offer. Sample the beef eye fillet carpaccio with rocket, crispy bread basket, shaved pecorino, and truffle oil with black salt flakes. There’s also a vegan option of the dish on offer, with thinly sliced roasted beetroot, toasted hazelnuts and a balsamic dressing.

Being an Italian restaurant, you can of course enjoy the usual suspects with a range of pizza and pasta options to choose from, dishes Chef Antonio says bring him great joy.

“Well, it’s very hard to choose [a favourite] … food is always an exciting element that makes the life of a chef a happy life. If I have to choose, I’d say our pizzas and pastas.

“These are the most enjoyable things, both to eat but especially to cook, because we start from the basic elements, as flour and water, and we work our way up to create something unique.”

Enjoy a hot slice of the Diavola pizza with tomato sauce, mozzarella, spicy salami, black olives and basil, or twirl some pappardelle and gamberi up on your fork with prawns, tomato sauce, cherry tomatoes, spinach, asparagus, herbs, cream and Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Other mains include the eye fillet with roasted rosemary potatoes, broccolini and your choice of sauce, and a parmesan crusted lamb rack with saffron potato purée, candied Roma tomato, roasted leek and red wine jus.

Enjoy your dishes with a chilled glass of Prosecco, white wine or a heady, full-bodied glass of red – the friendly restaurant team is on hand to make some suggestions.

And don’t forget to save room for dessert! Sweet treats include homemade cannoli with ricotta, chocolate and pistachio, and the Fresco al Limone with lemon posset, Italian meringue, raspberry gel and cream. Or simply sip on a range of dessert wines, liquored coffee and liqueurs.

With a tantalising food and wine menu, set against one of the best ocean backdrops Darwin has to offer, il Piatto is a must-see, must-taste, must-sip. Saluti!

WHEN FRI – SUN, 12-2PM | WED – SUN, 5-10PM

Top: Head Chef Antonio Moramarco

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