On our honeymoon we went to Italy with the plan of spending many long lunches in trattorias in the hills of Tuscany. Unfortunately when we arrived in Tuscany at our quaint (I use that term loosely) little appartamento, Mr Munch came down with an almighty dose of chicken pox!! And it rained non stop, and our accommodation had a serious dose of the roof leaks!! So we hot footed it back to Rome as soon as we could to be close to medical facilities and also to stay in a fully sealed hotel. We have unfinished business with Tuscany, so in the meantime we have discovered a lovely trattoria in the hills of Sydney - 42 Bannerman Trattoria & Bar in Glenhaven, where we can have many a long lunch - and it is kid friendly!
42 Bannerman Trattoria & Bar is located at 42 Bannerman Rd but you actually access it from Glenhaven Rd. The trattoria is in a converted house, just like so many are in Italy. There is a decent amount of parking right out the front and if you have a pram there is easy access into the restaurant as well as room to park it next to your table. 42 Bannerman also have the other kid friendly features such as high chairs and a baby change table in the disabled loo.
The house has one very large wooden door that you need to push open to enter. As soon as we walked in, a lovely young member of staff greeted us and showed us to our table. The interior of the trattoria is decked out in dark wood furniture, exposed brick walls and slate floors. There are retro Italianesque posters on the wall and the kitchen in glass fronted so you can spy on all of the chefs in action.
As soon as we sat down we were presented with the longest grissini that I have ever seen! And of course the first thing the boys wanted to do with them was to have a sword fight. To avoid someone being stabbed in the eye (more than likely our waitress) we brought out the electronic devices. I recommend that you bring yours along too so that you can keep the kids occupied whilst you enjoy the beautiful food that they serve at 42 Bannerman. And if you are like me and have a little bag of crayons/pencils in your bag, the kids will be able to use these on the brown paper that covers the table.
On Sundays at lunch time they serve up an Italian Table feast. You can be terribly sensible and order off the a la carte menu, or you can place your taste buds in the hands of the chefs and order the "surprise menu" for $45/head. We went for the latter. And don't worry, if you have any dietary requirements, just let your waitress know and she will advise the kitchen to prepare something according to your needs. Children are also catered for as they offer two options for $15.00 - a chicken schnitzel or pasta with Neapolitan sauce, so we ordered one of each for the boys.
The chicken schnitzel was delicious - home made of course and the chips were made from the thinnest slices of potato! My little man couldn't eat all of this dish, so if you have small eaters in your brood it may be a wise idea to only order one to share. My bigger boy on the other hand gobbled down all of his pasta. He was a bit perplexed when the dish first arrived on the table and it didn't look like the packet pasta that I use at home. When I explained that it was hand made, he wanted to know why I didn't do that with ours as it tasted so good!
There is a great range of gelato for kidlets to have for dessert (they of course can order off the dessert menu too).The boys went with a scoop of chocolate mint.
During the kids meal, our food had been steadily arriving. Our first "surprise" dish was the antipasto plate. There were shiny olives, roasted capsicums, arancini, polenta fingers, some sort of very spicy salami, and two little slices of bread that had yummy toppings - blue cheese and walnut as well as smoked salmon and a herby cheese. I could eat this sort of food all day, especially if I have a lovely cold bottle of vino to accompany it - like the lovely prosecco that they serve at 42 Bannerman!
Next was our Pasta course, and I think this was my favourite dish of the meal. The very large pasta shells (conchiglione) were stuffed full of meaty mushrooms, pork & fennel sausage meat, spinach and cream. The flavour combination was spectacular and I would happily just go back to order this dish for myself and myself only!
For our Secondi course we had spatchcock. I'm not normally a fan of this little dude as I find it a bit fiddly to eat (and I'm not very good at sucking on bones in public, unlike my husband). But the flavour of this bird was perfect and it was served atop asparagus with pecorino and a most delicious peppercorn type of sauce.
Dessert is not included in the Italian Table price but it was my birthday and I wasn't going to miss out on dolci (we were dining at 42 Bannerman because it was 42nd birthday!!). There were 2 choices - chocolate profiteroles, lavender pannacotta or sfingi. I had never heard of sfingi before so I ordered them - it's amazing how you start to live dangerously in your 40s. Anyway I soon discovered that sfingi are Sicilian donuts. There were 3 of these delicious little deep fried beauties in the dish and they came with peaches and cream - and they were most definitely the perfect way to finish the meal.
My advice to you dear readers is that you wear your stretchy pants when you dine at 42 Bannerman Trattoria & Bar for their Italian Table long lunch! If however you don't think your kids can cope with sitting at a table for such a long period they also do Pizza & Birra nights in their outdoor court yard Fri - Sun nights from the very family friendly hour of 4pm. Your kidlets will have some room to roam around and gorgeous themselves on beautiful wood fired pizza and you can sit back and enjoy a beer or two!
42 Bannerman Rd (entry from Glenhaven Rd)
Restaurant Dinner: Thu - Sat from 6pm
Pizza & Birra: Fri- Sun 4pm - 8pm
Lunch: Sun 12 -2.30pm