GLANCE down the laneway just up from Kakulas Brothers on William Street and chances are the tables outside Francoforte are full.
Lucky for us we were early and there were a few inside tables available; laneways are wonderfully atmospheric but this is Perth’s coldest winter this century.
Not that the weather put other diners off, and the late comers seemed perfectly content – including a well-scarfed Fremantle mayor Brad Pettitt.
Francoforte’s menu is simple with a choice of seven main dishes in piccolo or grande size.
My companion and I kicked off with a serve of bread ($3), with oil and balsamic vinegar, a good start for what was to follow.
For my carnivorous mate it was the kangaroo bolognese ($23 grande).
“The pasta is so al dente,” she cried, tucking into the roo rump, pork, carrot, onion and tomato dish.
“I’m inspired to give it a go at home,” the master chef hopeful declared.
The mayor had the same and interviewed later said it was rich, delicious, and not gamey.
His partner, architect Emma Brain, went for the kale pesto: “It was delicious, gentle and subtle,” she opined.
I couldn’t go past an old favourite eggplant sugo ($15 piccolo/$21 grande), which lived up to expectations. The simple, reduced tomato sauce clung to the spaghetti with an oily deliciousness and the eggplant was cooked to tender perfection.
Another Chook who’s been there recently says Francoforte’s take on carbonara is “incredible”, with wafer-thin pieces of crunchy bacon adding a special touch.
One look at the dessert menu and I regretted going for the very generous grande serve, because I really would have liked to have had the tiramisu ($8), made by owner Julian Staltari’s mum.
I’ve had it before, and believe me his mum knows her stuff.
Francoforte recently joined forces with Italian eatery a few doors away No Mafia and ice creamery Chico Gelato across the road for a triple Italian treat called Tri Amici.
For just $30 you can start your night with antipasto and a glass of vino at No Mafia, head to Francoforte for grande pasta of your choice, followed by a creamy ice cream at Chico Gelato.
“It’s been a hit since we started a month ago,” Mr Staltari says.
He has big plans for his restaurant, with an expansion into a recently vacated shop next door: “We plan to extend the kitchen and menu and apply for a liquor licence.”
by JENNY D’ANGER
Francoforte Spaghetti Bar
189 William St, Northbridge
Mon–Fri 12–2.30pm, 5–10pm,