Cultura Espresso Bar & Restaurant

Licensed $
123 Liverpool Street, Hobart
03) 6234 7111
Open: Breakfast and lunch Mon to Sat.

Apart from the excellent food, what is it that makes Solo Pasta and Pizza in Sandy Bay one of the most popular of the many similar Italian eateries in town? I believe it’s the buzz of the place, the noisy, energy-charged ambiance and the seemingly innate sense of hospitality and generosity of the young owners, Simon Robustelli and Dimitri Giovanoglou.

Now they’ve taken their talents and a new partner, Luke Rocchia, to the smart, inner-city breakfast and lunch room, Cultura, which opened its doors just before Christmas.

Good food, familial warmth and fun are a winning combination in anyone’s book and only six weeks after opening, Cultura already hums. As it deserves to. Yes the menu’s basically pasta and pizza with a few more cafe-style standards like a pecorino and pear salad, zucchini and egg frittata and grilled asparagus with poached egg for breakfast, but the beef carpaccio was classic in its simplicity – as it should be – a baby beetroot salad with fior di latte was light and refreshing and the fresh, house-made gnocchi came with the best puttanesca sauce I’ve had in a long time. Originally created as a restorative for the working ladies of Rome, I imagine the sauce would have done its job admirably.

The wine list is small but adequate with a selection of middle-of-the-road-Italians and Australians all reasonably priced and all available by the glass.

Breakfast $9 – $17; antipasti around $12.50; pizza $16.50 – $20; calazone $22; pasta $17 – $21.

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