Abbondante was born in a light-bulb moment. Hershy Ash, ex-Bar Lourinha and Casa Ciuccio, thought to himself: “People love Uber and Airbnb. I wonder if there’s a way to replicate that share economy in restaurants?”
Turns out, there is. Abbondante (a word used colloquially in Italian to refer to someone on the heavy side) opened after Plenty, a cafe in Windsor, closed its doors. But Ash admits that it’s not the concept that’s going to win customers over; it’s the food. And after 18 years of making customers feel special at Da Noi, Dino Esposito has joined Ash to ensure the clientele is well taken-care of.
Abbondante’s short, Italian menu is a no-brainer. There are eight dishes that change daily, all of which are available in half and full portions (you can check it out via Instagram, @abbondante_windsor). Favourites so far have included roast quail with pumpkin puree and mushrooms; and slow-roasted lamb shoulder with artichoke. There’s also a must-order mixed antipasto. “I hate it when you go into a restaurant and they say, ‘Have you eaten here before? Let me explain the menu to you’,” says Ash. “I find that so condescending and weird. This is a much more unpretentious way to eat.”
The interior hasn't changed from when the space housed Plenty, but in the evening, music turns up and lights dim down. The main addition is a collection of black-and-white photographs from the 1920s, which feature “drunken, fun parties in Paris.” It’s a reflection of the atmosphere Ash is trying to create: “loose, boozy and fun.”
It follows that drinks are priced for consumption (a handful of reds and whites and a couple each of beers, spirits and aperitivos), and you can BYO for $15.
78 Chapel Street, Windsor
Wed to Sat 6pm–12pm