La Trattoria’s long success can be put down to one simple quality – consistency.
The traditional Italian Restaurant opened in 1975 on King William St and I believe they may even retain some of the original staff.
It has not changed drastically in the past 10 or so years; regular customers are familiar with the food and the staff.
Situated opposite The Kings, La Trat has a wonderful closed-in al fresco area; heated during winter and opened to the breeze in summer, it can seat near 50.
Inside is a homely setting, with photos of celebrity diners adorning the walls and small white-clothed tables set minimally. A large bar looks over the crowd.
Immediately next to the restaurant is the pizza oven and gelato shop, which serves as a takeaway pickup.
La Trat serves, arguably, Adelaide’s most consistent meals – spaghetti amatriciana one day is exactly the same the next and the pizza marinara has the same amount of anchovies, every time.
It is a level of detailed quality that diners have come to trust and rely upon.
The menu is long and varied. A wide variety of pizzas and pastas are complemented with a decent selection of veal, steak, seafood and chicken.
All the old Italian favourites are here; marinara, putanesca, margharita, napolitana.
The wine list is small but well priced.
All the food is served in large amounts without fanfare or fuss. It is well-priced, honest food.
The antipasto for starters may well be the exact same dish the restaurant served in 1975: a small plate is piled with cold meats, melon wrapped in parma ham, some cheese, salad. It is nothing special, but it hits the spot.
Also on the starters menu is the good old prawn cocktail and a serving of prosciutto e melone harking back to the 1980s.
The spaghetti amatriciana is a steaming heap of tomato-laced pasta with a generous amount of bacon. A decent kick of chilli and salty anchovies complete a simple yet hearty meal.
Pizza is just as good – the thin base and a decent amount of simple toppings are the reason for the pizzas’ popularity.
But despite this, it is the staff that make “La Trat” what it is.
One busy night in a group of 16, our friendly waiter took the entire table’s order without writing a single thing down – just a nod of acknowledgement before moving on to the next person.
Pizzas, pastas, scallopine, steaks, wine and beer arrived as ordered, without a problem.
It would be a rare waiter who could match this feat of memory and it is rumoured this particular gentleman’s record is a spectacular 43 orders – no notepad, no mistakes.
It demonstrates that La Trat is all about experience – and it serves the restaurant extremely well.
Its strength is simplicity and consistency; customers feel at home, they trust the food and the service is wonderfully friendly and sharp.
Four out of five.
346 King William Street, Adelaide
Tel: 08 8212 3327
Lunch 12pm – 3pm, Monday to Friday
Dinner 5pm – late, Monday to Sunday
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