On the winding Merrivale Road, near CORE Cider House, you’ll find La Fattoria – which is just about as close to a traditional Italian Trattoria as you can get. Meaning “the farm” in Italian, La Fattoria is set in a beautiful spot on a working orchard in the Perth Hills. By the way – a “trattoria” is a family run venue, offering a series of dishes shared at the table, like an Italian family meal.
La Fattoria is very unassuming from the entrance. On our first visit we strolled up the olive grove lined gravel path, and entered via an old packing shed, not really knowing what to expect. Scattered around were old farming artefacts, giving it a rustic feel.
As you walk through the shed and then through the next door, the venue suddenly opens out into the most wonderful cellar door and restaurant, with a delightful vista over the lush lawns, vines and orchard. The lawn begs for a picnic, and there are several people enjoying platters and wine on picnic blankets under the shady Jacaranda tree.
We were greeted by owner Lucy and she introduced herself as if she was an old friend, which truly made us feel like we had popped by to a friends place for lunch. And that is just how they want you to feel at La Fattoria. It’s not a typical Italian restaurant where you can order a carbonara from the menu. This is a unique dining experience, with no menu!
There are two dining options. Book ahead and enjoy their Nonna’s Family Table lunch or turn up on a whim (like we did) and tuck into a “choose your own platter. Nonna’s family table is a mulit course feast, with no menu. Expect courses of antipasto, pasta, simple produce-driven main courses and desserts showcasing the fruit grown on the property. The idea is to break bread and share a hearty meal with family and friends, in the traditional Sicilian way. It is priced at a very reasonable $47pp (Thurs/Fri) and $57pp (Sat/Sun). We’re keen to try this!
Before our platter arrived we started with a chisciol appetiser. The traditional Italian dish is a sort of mini pancake, topped with fresh rocket, eaten soft taco style. Delicious!
The blackboard of platter options changes regularly and is brimming with delicious morsels. We (my parents and I) were piggies and picked just about everything! The Bambini menu is only available with the Nonna’s Family Table option, but luckily there was enough meat, cheese and bread to satisfy Little Chef.
Where to start? We ate a multitude of goodies, including meats coppa and bresaola (salt dried beef). There was also tender Freo pickled octopus, Sicilian olives, marinated sweet peppers, marinated artichokes, and a pear and ginger paste. All that is accompanied by fresh bread and rice crackers. And no grazing platter is complete without a bit of cheese! I loved the provolone. The creamy balls of boconcini were oh-so-tasty too!
We chose 12 components for the platter and that came to just $68.50 for the four of us, including the chisciol! Great value for tasty and excellent quality food.
Of course the main attraction on the drink’s list is La Fattoria’s wine (they also offer a cider and non alcoholic drinks). The 11 varieties of grapes from La Fattoria’s vines are made into excellent drops of wine by Bickley Valley wine makers MyattsField Vineyards. I particularly enjoyed the sparkling red, a Brachetto, which I’ve never tried before. And if you’re driving? You can also enjoy coffee and a freshly baked slice of cake.
Outside kids will love to meet the winery’s friendly dogs.
There’s also lots of wide open spaces to run about and an old tractor, on which Little Chef liked to pretend to be farmer.
Children will love exploring the nature play area.
Before you leave, visit their fresh produce outlet “Fruit Loop” in the packing shed and take home some freshly picked apples, pears, plums, figs, passionfruit, avocados – or whatever else is currently in season.
Whether you’re hankering for an Italian feast, want to taste wines at the Cellar Door or prefer a tastebud tempting platter while relaxing on a picnic rug – you’ll feel right at home at La Fattoria.
La Fattoria, is just another great reason to visit the stunning Perth Hills and it’s booming food and drink scene of amazing local produce, as well as local wines and ciders. Find out more about La Fattoria and how to make a booking on their website.