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Righetto Osteria Romana, Haberfield

Last week I met up with Tania and Celia for a very long overdue lunch – our first for 2014.  Lorraine was meant to join us but unfortunately, due to an unavoidable scheduling crisis, she had to bow out of our get-together.


Righetto Osteria Romano

Celia organised the lunch at a restaurant that she has been to several times with her husband, Pete.  It is Righetto Osteria Romana where their slogan is, ‘The art of eating well’.

Such a steamy hot day

A hazy, steaming hot day

Righetto Osteria Romana is in the main street of Haberfield.  Parking is no trouble at all and it’s free.  The day we met for lunch it was around 40C (104F) with a strong wind blowing hot air like when you open your oven door and your eyelashes melt.   You will notice no one had chosen to eat outside and I was very relieved Celia had booked an indoor table.

A warm and rustic interior

A warm and rustic interior

As you are all aware, the food scene in Italy is divided into regions and this restaurant is proudly not only Italian but Roman.  This was the first time I’d had specifically Roman cuisine.

A retro oven

A retro oven

Righetto Osteria Romana is a casual dining restaurant with rustic charm.  On entering the restaurant you are greeted by the owner, Enrico who wears a warm and welcoming smile.  He led us to a long wooden table that had plenty of elbow room and space for all the food.

A homely interior

A homely interior

Because we were worn out from the heat, we started our lunch with a glass of Pinot Grigio.  The chilled dry white wine was a welcome relief and with the aid of the air-conditioning, helped cool me down.  I thought the heavy wine glasses suited the rustic charm of the restaurant.

Pinot Grigio $7.00/glass

Pinot Grigio $7.00/glass

While we sipped on the wine Enrico brought out some toasted sourdough bread with a small dish of olive oil and balsamic.  The oil was robust in flavour and the balsamic leaning towards sweet rather than acidic.

Toasted sourdough with oil and vinegar

Toasted sourdough with oil and vinegar

We wanted to sample as many things as we could manage and so we started with an antipasto platter.  We asked Enrico to just put a selection of things on a board but I have to say, when it arrived we were certainly surprised by the size of it.  There was a stuffed cabbage leaf, suppli, crocchette, polpetta, an egg-less frittata made with mashed potato, a zucchini frittata and bruschetta.  While the bruschetta had great flavour from the basil and garlic, I would have liked the tomatoes to be a little more ripe.  Everything else on the platter reminded me of good honest home cooking.

Antipasto Platter $43.00

Antipasto Platter $43.00

So early into the lunch and I was already no longer hungry.  Then out came the mains that we were sharing.  The first to arrive was the Trippa Fagiolini, tripe in tomato sauce.  While Celia and Tania were enthusiastically positive about the tripe, I have to confess I didn’t eat any of it.  I have an issue with tripe that I’ll tell you about in an upcoming post.  But for those with no tripe issues, Tania and Celia have said this tripe dish is amazing.

Trippa Fagiolini $22.00

Trippa Fagiolini $22.00

The next dish to arrive was the Eggplant Parmigiana.  I loved this dish.  The eggplant wasn’t oily and was soft and mellow and it harmonised well with the stronger flavours coming from the cheesy tomato sauce.

Eggplant Parmigiana $20.00

Eggplant Parmigiana $20.00

There are a few gnocchi dishes on the menu and I would have liked to have tried the gnocchi with gorgonzola but as Celia is trying not to have too much lactose we chose the Funghi Tartufo that was made for us without cream and cheese.  It seemed they’d replaced the cream and cheese with garlic as as soon as the dish hit the table we could smell the wonderful aroma of garlic.  The gnocchi were very soft and yielding and quite like little pillows.  The stronger flavours of mushrooms and garlic gave great flavour to the gnocchi.

Gnocchi Funghi Tartufo (without cream or cheese) $20.00

Gnocchi Funghi Tartufo (without cream or cheese) $20.00

We were unable to finish the three mains and so they were packaged up into takeaway containers for us Celia to take home to her boys.  Just as we were about to step back out into the harsh conditions, Enrico arrived with three bowls of homemade strawberry gelato in a strawberry sauce with fresh berries and a sprig of mint.  Now despite being full to the gills I managed to finish this and found it to be refreshing and cooling.

Complimentary dessert with a shot glass of limoncello

Complimentary dessert with a shot glass of limoncello

It was served with a small glass of homemade limoncello.  As I was about to get behind the wheel of my car, I didn’t finish this glass of rocket fuel but I did have a few sips.  Despite its potency, I do love limoncello.  It really is a wonderful way to finish a meal and it compliments sweet desserts very well.  The sour citrus flavour mixed with the alcohol is a very refreshing mix.

The open bar

I do like blackboard menus

It had been a two-hour lunch and we’d talked so much we hadn’t paused for breath.  Enrico had been very attentive and we were well looked after.  The portions are generous and the food authentic.  It was a delight to discover Righetto Osteria Romana.

Advertising the cost of house wine

Verdict:  Everyone would want a ‘local’ like this.

A little curio

Righetto Osteria Romana:  103 Ramsay Street, Haberfield NSW 2045

Ph:  9799 5500

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  1. Lovely review Charlie, and thanks to you and Tania for such a fabulous lunch! I reckon we would have sat there all afternoon if we both didn’t have school pickups! The food was fabulous – my favourite was the eggless frittata and the parmigiana! Lovely Diego in the bottom photo, our waiter Matteo and the ever charming Enrico certainly made it a wonderful lunch for us! 🙂

  2. I love local finds like this – I really do get lazy and mostly hang around our suburb… this lovely review has given me a great spot to visit in the school holidays with my two hungry boys – that way we get to try lots of the dishes you have described! Thank you x

  3. I wouldn’t have been able to resist the tripe either but I’m not sure I’m looking forward to your story or not! The portion sizes look very generous and the food looks homely – perfect for a catch up with friends.

  4. Oh you didn’t try the tripe! What a shame, it’s really one of the best tripe dishes I’ve ever eaten. But now it means that I can’t wait to hear your story about tripe.

  5. It is just wonderful to catch up with friends and equally wonderful to find a good Italian restaurant… I haven’t been to a good one since Sigretto Trattoria in Brookvale… I am yet to find a good one on the coast. I must admit though I don’t go out for Italian much as I enjoy cooking it at home! Liz x

  6. Your description of the weather has taken me right back to Australia…and I do not miss those scorching breezes! It sounds like a great lunch though, with both great company and well chosen indoor seating 😉

  7. We have a local Italian we love but it’s too expensive to be a place we frequent often. I do love the food though. I think Enrico saw some special ladies and flirted with you!

  8. Thank you for the writeup – have a lot of friends living in the area and have to check whether they know the place. Looks relaxed and comfortable with homely food at reasonable prices. Sorry Charlie but I would have jumped at the tripe: cook it home either French or Northern Italian style at least once or twice a month 🙂 !

  9. G’day! I love hearing about experiencing local businesses and food Charlie!
    Wish I lived closer to join you all at lunch one day!
    Look forward to hearing about the tripe story, but sense it may not be the best food experience for you, eh? Cheers! Joanne

  10. This place sounds like the perfect local Italian trattoria, the food looks delicious and the wine was very reasonably priced. Sounds like you had a lovely afternoon. I love it that Celia knows them by name, we have a spot like that too and coincidentally, we’re going tomorrow night!

  11. Oh, I do love places like this – I definitely would have been in for the tripe dish!

  12. Oh thats fantastic Charlie, I love that you were all able to catch up and spend some quality time together. 🙂 Sounds like a sweet place to while away an afternoon. With you on the tripe…. the memories from my chef training days are well fresh in my mind. xx

  13. What a shame I live so far away. I do love Haberfield though. That food looks really beautiful and let’s face it you can’t beat good Italian.

  14. What a fun lunch! I love the chunky wine glasses!

  15. So wish I’d been there too! It sounds like you had a wonderful time together and the food looks Fab. I would have tried the tripe, but the eggplant would be delicious indeed. Next time you’ll have to start lunch at breakfast time so you can have plenty of catching up without having to rush 🙂 xox

  16. I’ll admit I always get a little jealous when I read posts about you guys dining together!

  17. What a fabulous lunch you girls enjoyed. I love everything except the tripe – can’t get it passed my lips either.
    have a beautiful day Charlie.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  18. Love Haberfield, they have such amazing Italian places there 😀
    Want to try this place now!

    Choc Chip Uru

  19. I am quite sure I’ve never been introduced to a distinctly Roman Italian dish. That fascinates me! Each dish looks really appealing to me, except for the tripe…like you, I’m not a fan. How wonderful to enjoy the company of such talented blogging friends. I can imagine it was a lively time at that table. 🙂


  1. […] promised you a tripe story so here it […]

  2. […] a loaf of three-nut sourdough given to me by Celia.  I recently met with Celia and Tania for lunch in a restaurant and despite the heat, (a 40C/105F day), Celia had been up early baking bread for me and Tania. […]

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