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LA LOCANDA

Cuisine: Italian

Seemingly a world away from Bronte’s same-same beachside cafes, intimate La Locanda is a well-loved local secret. Inside, it’s unexpectedly stylish, with an elegant urban feel and a blackboard menu (all in Italian), which the waiters roll off the tongue with sensual musicality. The ever-changing menu has meant that loyal locals haven’t had the chance to get bored, although stuffed calamari with breadcrumbs, ricotta, pinenuts and herbs $17 and pappardelle with duck and pea ragu $18/$25 have been in demand enough to become stayers. Chocolate mousse cake with white chocolate icecream $15 brings the meal to an extravagant close, rounded off with a traditional Italian aperitivo or digestivo.

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WET PAINT RESTAURANT

Cuisine: Italian,Modern Australian,Cajun

This one-time corner store in Upper Bronte celebrates its 10th birthday in January. The kitchen is right there in the corner of the distressed mustard-coloured front room, with former church pews along one wall as banquettes. Fellow diners are largely baby boomers who recognise good-value quality food. For starters, there’s the housemade salmon sausages topped with scallops and fennel mayonnaise $16.50, the wagyu sirloin and tarragon omelette $17.50or seafood chowder $16.Discreet rock thrums away as a background to the signature main of Louisiana stuffed chicken breast $25.50or veal backstrap filled with pate and mushroom duxelle, wrapped in crepinette and drizzled in peppercorn sauce $29. Apple three ways (apple charlotte, apple frangipane and apple galette with apple sorbet) cannot be missed unless it’s missing from the menu.Bookings essential on weekends.

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