Da Vinci’s had a curious name when I first started going around ten years ago, not long after Dan Brown’s bestseller. I had worked for a number of years at a number of restaurants with one of their chefs at the time (who is a best mate) and got to know many of the staff and the owners who are still around today. Needless to say it is a comfortable place to have dinner.
When I look around, the funny thing is that everyone else looks comfortable. There’s a 50th birthday with two large tables that are having a great time, and the whole place is warm and friendly. The restaurant itself is open and honest – it speaks to good quality Italian with no frills. It’s not clichéd family, but it is bright, is busy early, and tables generally don’t get turned over so it’s relaxed.
The wood-fired pizza oven is fit for the job, but we didn’t have pizza tonight. Mum felt like seafood marinara and Catherine and I just had to try the homemade lasagna! I was a bit tricky in copying Catherine’s choice, which is a bit of a faux pas in my book, but when you come here you can have what you feel like!
Mum loved her marinara – the seafood was excellent and the serving generous. I’m not sure if the pasta is handmade, but I don’t think it is. The handmade pasta in the lasagna was terrific. Eight layers with a “rich Italian meat sauce” which I believe was dominant in pork. I often feel lasagna is too heavy, and find it hard to go past the vincisgrassi that migrated from The Grand to Yak Bar in Melbourne, but the al dente pasta and excellent meat sauce made for a delicious dish that was all the better for only $21!
The three of us shared wildberry meringue and apple pie for dessert which were both about $10. You don’t normally get much for $10 in Perth, so this is very reasonable, and some seemingly defrosted berries with the meringue is not a criticism, but worthy of noting. The meringue itself was light, but gooey and surprised all of us to the extent we were speaking about it a couple of nights later. The apple pie was as you’d expect for a standard dessert – something sweet to end a fun meal.
Having been eating in Perth for many, many years I know when a suburban restaurant is average, good, or great. It’s not just a price point thing. Da Vinci is a simple Italian restaurant, done really well.