My husband has a lot of decision-making planets in Libra. This makes menu deliberation a minefield for comments such as “but what are you having?” or (from me) “just flipping order something!”

This is just one of the reasons I love 42 Bannermans as much as I do.

They are one of the few trattoria style places around town that offer a true Italian table experience, ie you sit down, order wine and food miraculously arrives. No interruptions while waiters hang around to take orders as you are in the middle of catching up, or right at the punch line of your story.

And not just any food, this is honest Italian cooking. Another reason I love it.

The blackboard menu, such as it is, changes constantly- depending on what’s in season, what was available at the Farmers Market (Bannermans are big supporters of local producers) and what the chef feels like putting on the blackboard.

Sure you can order off the blackboard, but that takes all the surprise out of it and personally, I like the guessing game.

The Italian table option is 3 courses: an antipasto, a pasta and a main meal. Depending on how many people are at the table depends on how many you get to try.

The antipasto is a given. Bannermans do their own olives, salami and breads. Yesterday there was also a leek and ricotta tart, arancini, zucchini, and some very more-ish salt and pepper school prawns. Miss 14 closed her eyes as she popped the whole prawn in.

Pasta was a revelation. Spaghetti, pumpkin and goats cheese baked in spinach leaves with almonds and an amaretto, burnt butter sauce.

With a table of 3 we got to sample 2 of the main dishes- & this was my only teeny disappointment of the day. We had ordered red wine, so a little coordination with the kitchen may have avoided the salmon coming out.

Having said that, the grilled salmon, with king prawns, lemon butter sauce and a cous cous salad was well cooked and beautifully flavoured…it just didn’t work that well with the sangiovese.

Next up was pan seared duck breast with quince jam and cavalo nero…which did. Sauteed organic kipfler potatoes rounded the protein off nicely.

My hubby and daughter squabbled over a scoop of orange gelato (also house made) to finish.

Service, despite being Mothers Day, and despite the usual Mothers Day large tables, was as always- warm, prompt and friendly. I guess it is easier to be like that when you’re not constantly hovering around tables waiting for decisions to be made…

42 Bannermans hold their own local farmers market on the 1st Sunday of every 2nd month, followed by a special producers lunch. Check out the website for more details.

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