Capital

Licensed $-$$   Hat icon   Glass icon
364 Elizabeth Street, North Hobart
03) 6231 1101
Open: 7 days from 11.30am.

The city’s hospitality scene has experienced a buzz of optimism in recent months with a surge of new restaurants, bars and cafes opening up. And, as if Hobart had been hanging out for something new, no sooner do they open than we fill them.

The good news is that the majority of the new places have been opened by experienced operators, ones with a proven track record – David Moyes from The Stackings at the new Franklin, the Smolt team at Frank, Carl Windsor from the Raincheck Lounge, James Kingston and Jacob Nunn from Brew at Winning Brothers Wine Merchants and, at Capital, it’s Aaron Brasondale, Fabio di Tomaso and Ken Chong, bringing with them years of experience at Da Angelos, Maldinis and Jackman and McRoss.

All under 30, full of energy and ideas, the three friends bought Marty Zucco’z Pizza in North Hobart some three years ago. Next it was the upstairs Segreto which they turned into the frantically busy Burger Haus a year ago. And, three weeks ago, they opened the doors to Capital, a total makeover of Marty’s original space fronting Elizabeth Street, at the same time moving their takeaway pizza operation up the laneway to an under-the-stairs, hole in the wall they’ve called Regazzi.

But watch this space, they haven’t finished yet. Fabio says that with Capital they wanted an Italian-influenced, everyday eatery with a point of difference.

What they’ve created in the makeover is an industrial warehouse space with exposed brickwork, polished concrete floors, metal beams and a faux mezzanine floor. Along one side, a long bar sits above large black industrial lockers stencilled with the post codes of Rome, Milan, Torino and other Italian cities with concertina doors opening the space up to Elizabeth Street for a little alfresco dining. Altogether, they’ve done a great job in making a much more open and welcoming space.

By way of introduction, their menu states “Our role in life is to feed people. A lot. We can’t help it. Buon appetito!” Accordingly the menu is huge – four breads, a selection of five dips, two soups, 23 different antipasti, seven “white’ pizze and eight ‘red’, 10 pasta options followed by seven mains, four contorni, five dolci and four cheeses.

Like many others these days who go out to ‘eat’ rather than to ‘dine’ in the old fashion sense, for my wife and I it was the antipasti selection that was the most appealing. So we slowly ate our way through nicely flavoured Italian meatballs in a rich Napoletana sauce, cheese and wild mushroom arancini, meltingly tender calamari fritti deliciously spiced with fennel and caper aioli, an OK beef carpaccio with caper and horseradish cream and white anchovies sweet and soured in the Sicilian way with excellent grissini, crisper and better than any I’d had recently in Italy.

We found the mains of beef cheeks, eye fillet, parmesan chicken breast and salads of chicken, calamari, .smoked ocean trout and another of quinoa and wild rocket less inspiring, more everyday and less Italian if you like. So our fall back was a shared Margherita pizza which was as good as any of the better ones around town with leaves of fresh, flavoursome basil topping fresh tomatoes, fior di latte and mozzarella on a nicely crisp base.

The wine list is a further attraction with a very good selection of Tasmanian, mainland, French, Spanish and, especially, Italian wines at a range of prices to suit all pockets.

Three dips $15; antipasti $7.5/8.5/9/5; pizze $19 – $24; pasta around $26; mains $24 – $36; desserts $13

in Recent reviews