Piccoli Piatti (“small plates” in Italian) is the name (and theme) of a new restaurant in North Adelaide, replacing family-run bistro Cucina on the corner of O’Connell and Ward Streets.

The team behind it – Tomas Smith, Kyle Young and Steph Gibbs – also own the new CBD sports bar Wing It and Peel Street spots La Rambla Tapas Bar and Therapy Cocktail Bar.

Despite the “modern Italian” bent, what you’re served at Piccoli Piatti is more like tapas, says group executive chef Jamie Carter. He suggests dining parties wield their forks over a table-full of small share plates.

You might start with Coorong beef carpaccio with smoked beetroot, black-garlic aioli and croutons, or Goolwa cockles in white wine with ‘nduja (a spicy, spreadable pork salumi). For something meatier there’s grilled quail with polenta, quince and herb pesto, or 12-hour-cooked lamb shoulder with green-olive tapenade. There are a few fresh pastas too – the crowd-pleasing gnocchi is hand-rolled on-site and smothered in oxtail ragu. Feeling indecisive? Your best bet is the “feed me” option, priced at $40 or $50 a head for groups of four or more.

Puffed-up, Tuscan-style schiacciata (flat bread) stands in for pizza. It’s cooked without toppings, chopped, then finished with fresh ingredients such as burrata and fire-roasted peppers, or white anchovies, cherry tomatoes and pickled garlic. “There’s a fair bit of competition for pizza, especially in North Adelaide,” says Carter. “Why try and compete?”

Slabs of spongy, olive-and-rosemary focaccia are baked fresh daily; find it charred alongside Bottega Rotolo salumi or as part of the simple breakfast menu, which includes house-made granola, schiacciata and a decadent “big breakfast” option (with a vegan alternative).

“Local roots with Italian fruits” is the wine list’s catchphrase – it’s predominantly South Australian with a few European drops. Therapy cocktail whiz Chris Brittain has curated a spritz-y list that pushes past the classics. The Il Fiore blends gin and Cocchi Americano (an aperitif wine) with elderflower, basil, lemon and saffron.

This article was published on May 29, 2019. Menu items may have changed since.

Piccoli Piatti
21 O’Connell Street, North Adelaide
Tue to Sun 8am–2pm, 5pm–9.30pm