Tucked away just off Caves Road in Dunsborough, is a hidden gem of a restaurant.
La Casina is a small family run Italian restaurant set back from the road at the end of a gravel drive. It’s easy to drive past as it is not extensively advertised; but wanting to try somewhere new, we decided to give it a go for lunch; and how happy were we that we did!
The restaurant has been converted from an old cottage and feels like an authentic Italian trattoria. We were greeted by the lovely waiter who was very attentive, showing us to our table on the covered deck, setting our table and providing menus and table water. The decor out on the deck is very casual in a shabby chic style – we were even given beer glasses for our wine – all adding to that authenticity. I have to say that we really did feel like we were in Italy.
The menu is not extensive but has enough choices to please everyone, and it has a strong bias towards simple, fresh and honest Italian cuisine with great flavours. It is also possible to order gluten-free pasta and vegetarian or vegan meals. We started with a shared entree of Panzerotti con condimenti misti – homemade fried pizza dough squares with chorizo, feta and tomato and chilli relish ($22), the relish was divine.
Our main courses of spaghetti with a tomato and seafood sauce and fettuccine with Italian sausage and mushrooms ($36 each) were again although simple meals, packed with flavour.
The wine list has plenty of choices in both the red and wine selections, and again there is a strong Italian presence. We decided to try an Italian red to go with our pasta but not having a great knowledge of Italian wines we relied on our waiter to guide our choice, I have to say he came up trumps; the Sangiovese he recommended ($54) was delicious!
We finished up lunch with dessert; homemade pannacotta for both of us; coffee and Kalhua with chocolate sauce and chocolate almond biscuit for me, and for my husband, vanilla bean with mixed berry coulis and almond biscuits ($15 each). Again, the desserts were excellent and we finished every last bit.
Although a little on the expensive side for lunch at $180 for the two of us, we both thoroughly enjoyed the experience and La Casina is now on my list of restaurants to return to on our next visit to the area.
Address: 1842 Caves Road, Dunsborough
Phone: 9756 8154
Parking: Onsite Parking- disabled parking bay near the door.
Opening Hours: Monday: Closed
Lunch: Tuesday – Sunday 12pm-2.30pm ( Wednesday closed for lunch)
Dinner: Tuesday – Sunday 5,30pm-10.00pm
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