129/85 Reynolds St, Balmain, New South Wales, 2041
(02) 9810 9125
Mantecato, pronounced mante`kato, is the name given to the vigorous whisking of butter, essential in making a creamy Italian risotto.
The team behind Mantecato’s opening in 2014 is just like one big Italian family. Marco Orso owns the risotteria in partnership with Ketty Laffi and Giancarlo Bazzocchi – Balmain locals and owners of the nearby Rosso Pomodoro Pizzeria.
Before Mantecato, Marco spent five years running several restaurants in Milan and developed a passion for sharing great food and wine with others. This commitment shines through in the dining experience at Mantecato.
Expect true Italian hospitality from the floor to the kitchen; dining at Mantecato is like having a Sunday lunch at your Nonna’s house. However, don’t be fooled into thinking this is a traditional dining experience; the young team isn’t afraid to add a contemporary spin to the dishes.
The ingredients used in every dish speak for themselves; most of the produce is locally sourced from Frank’s Fruit Market in Haberfield and Vic’s Premium Quality Meats, ensuing a fresh and distinctive taste. Given the secret to the perfect risotto is in the rice itself, the team will only use Tenuta Castello Carnaroli, Italy’s finest organic carnaroli rice, imported directly from the Piedmont region.
Start your Italian feast with a selection of antipasto – choose from marinated Italian olives, fresh mozzarella served with semi-dried tomato and pesto, prosciutto di Parma, and sourdough bread with olive oil and chive butter.
With at least five different types of risottos to choose from, there’s a dish for every taste. The granchio e zucchini is a decadent zucchini risotto with spanner
crab meat and a crab bisque, while the pomodoro e burrata tomato risotto with fresh burrata cheese and basil will delight herbivores and carnivores alike. Whichever combination you choose, it will be served steaming hot and al dente – just the way Nonna likes it.
If you’re feeling like pasta, the ravioli di ricotta e spinaci is handmade, stuffed with ricotta and spinach and topped with butter and sage. For something larger, the pan-fried Angus flank steak is served with a side of friarielli and beetroot puree, perfectly accompanied by rosemary roasted potatoes.
Whatever you choose, be sure you save some room for dessert – the fondente alla nutella, a chocolate cake with a ‘bleeding’ Nutella heart will steal your attention. For something slightly lighter, look out for the panna cotta; the kitchen team likes to surprise diners with daily specials.
Marco’s passion for Italian wine shines on the truly impressive wine list. He has imported a great selection of wine, ensuring it is reasonably priced and suitable for every palate. Mantecato also carries local wines from nearby Orange and Mudgee. If you’re not sure where to start, just ask the friendly staff, they’ll guide you to the perfect pairing.
Mantecato’s interior design features wood accents and a pastel colour scheme. The owner’s love affair with wine is honoured by the specially designed wall that is fitted with empty wine boxes.
Only minutes from the city, Mantecato manages both a family friendly and corporate vibe with a unique Italian atmosphere, true to the restaurant’s spirit.