Zia Rina’s Cucina
Slow-cooked beef ragu begins simmering over the stove most mornings at Zia Rina’s. The recipe belongs to co-owner and ex-Neptune head chef Danny Natoli’s nonno (grandfather), but the real hero of the tiny trattoria is his zia (aunt), former owner Rina. She passed away just before Christmas 2017, but has left a piece of herself in Armadale.
Rina’s serves a set menu highlighting the best of the season’s produce – much of it supplied by Torello Farm on the Mornington Peninsula. During the colder months, you might start with Kingfish Crudo and a primavera tart, followed by spaghettini cacio e pepe and a pork chop with a fennel and black pepper crust. Finish with some cannoli for dessert.
Southern Italian drops are the focus of the wine list; there’s a mix of reds and whites from Sicily as well as Piedmont, Abruzzo, Puglia, Tuscany and Veneto. Local wines include options from Heathcote, King Valley and McLaren Vale available by the bottle, glass or piccolo (small glass), so you can try more than one or two.
Rina’s is dimly lit with striking terrazzo floors. Flames from tealight candles dance on tabletops and the walls are stripped, giving the room a rustic, traditional trattoria feel.
Phone: No phone
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