Found in the delightful Perth Hills is a traditional trattoria – a farm style Italian eatery. If you’re familiar with the popular Core Cider House, in Pickering Brook, La Fattoria is just a little further up Merrivale Road. The winding road is a beautiful drive at this time of year, when everything is green and the orchard trees are budding with blossom.
If you’re looking for a spot for a delicious, hearty meal, you’ll be welcomed like part of the family at La Fattoria. Set on a working orchard, the trattoria has a cellar door and restaurant, with a delightful view over the lush lawns, vines and orchards.
We were greeted by owner Lucy at the door. She introduced herself and shook our hands as if she was an old friend. When we left a couple of hours later, Lucy still remembered out names. It’s so rare to find this level of warm, sincere service and it really touched me. Lucy truly made us feel like we had popped by to a friend’s place for lunch. La Fattoria is not a typical Italian restaurant where you can order a carbonara or parmi from the menu. This is a unique dining experience, with no menu. We were also given a very warm welcome by the winery’s friendly dogs, Rani and Jessi!
Of course the main attraction on the drink’s list is La Fattoria’s very own wine. You can also enjoy cider, soft drinks, coffee or tea – along with a freshly baked slice of cake.
You can sit inside or out, the veranda is very popular and in winter there’s plenty of heaters to keep you toasty. On sunny days you might even like to borrow a picnic rug and enjoy a platter and glass of wine under the shady Jacaranda tree.
At La Fattoria there are two dining options. Enjoy their Nonna’s family table (bookings only) or turn up on a whim like we always do and tuck into their “choose your own platter”. Nonna’s family table is a hearty meal with family and friends, in the traditional Sicilian way. The multi-course feast of antipasto, pasta, simple produce-driven main courses and desserts showcasing the fruit grown on the property sounds amazing. It is very reasonably priced, check their website for details. We started our winter lunch with a warming soup. Served in mugs, the scrumptious pumpkin soup is finished with a dollop of cream, sprinkling of crisp bacon and chopped fresh herbs.
Next is a chisciol appetiser. The traditional Italian dish is a mini buckwheat pancake, topped with fresh rocket, and eaten as though it’s a soft taco.
The blackboard of platter options is brimming with many delicious morsels. We chose about 6 components for the platter – coppa (pork), Sicilian olives, marinated sweet peppers, marinated artichokes, provolone cheese and a pear and ginger paste. All that is accompanied by fresh bread and rice crackers.
Their fresh produce is available to buy at the “Fruit Loop”. You’ll find whatever is in season, freshly picked for you to take home. During late summer you may find golden delicious apples, bartlett pears, ruby blood plums, nectarines, peaches, figs, passionfruit, avocados. Year round there’s free range eggs, local honey, verjuice, gelato and La Fattoria apple juice. La Fattoria holds regular ‘agritourism’ experiences where anyone can join in with grape picking, olive preserving and passata making. Sign up to ‘La Famiglia’ (the family) on their website to receive emails on when these events are held.
All In All
At La Fattoria, you can break bread over a traditional Italian feast, taste wines at the Cellar Door or share a tastebud tempting platter. The service is fantastic, local produce driven food and wine is divine, and there’s a beautiful view to enjoy too. You’ll feel right at home at La Fattoria.
Address: 211 Merrivale Rd, Pickering Brook.
Phone: 9293 7888
Disabled Access: Yes, there is disabled parking, ramps and a disabled bathroom.
Distance from Car Parking area: There’s a little walk from the gravel car park to the restaurant. For those not as sure-footed, you can be dropped a little closer to the entrance.
Grandchild Friendly: Yes, children can explore the nature play area, tractor and throw the ball for the friendly dogs.
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