Adelaide isn’t short of Italian eateries, but Modinetti remains a long-standing favourite. While you won’t get silver service or bottles of red wine, what you will get is a seat at the Maurici family table and home-style dishes that’ll have you begging for seconds.
The cafe is located on the busy Henley Beach Road – look out for the red Vespa that’s parked out front. The interior is simple and unadorned, with red-painted walls and a small counter displaying ricotta-filled sfogliatelle (strudel-like pastries) and miniature Persian love cakes. There’s also a large outdoor space, where families can bump elbows over dishes of antipasto and slow-cooked penne ragu.
Owner and chef Dominic Maurici likes to keep things simple with his menu, which is based on childhood favourites and family recipes handed down from his Calabrese relatives. The baked eggs in particular has become a signature dish, with oozing yellow yolks nestled in a rich tomato sugo that’s packed with chilli, garlic and basil.
There’s no alcohol on the drinks list, but there’s coffee, freshly squeezed juice and a collection of soft drinks, including fruity Jarritos and the Italian classic, Chinotto.