Vanessa: “Mangiasti?” , a phrase I have heard countless times upon entering my grandparents home, meaning “ Have you eaten?” A phrase that rings so close to home for me that when I heard of a restaurant opening by this name, I knew I would be making a bee line. Located in Roseville, the newly opened restaurant, Mangiasti?, offers southern Italian cuisine in probably one of the most authentic dining spaces I’ve seen outside of Italy!
I visited with the family on their opening weekend last Sunday and was immediately wowed when I walked in by the great amount of detail that has gone into the decor. Drawing inspiration from one of the owners hometown of Calabria, much attention has been to paid to recreate the feeling of an Italian piazza or town square. The long sky light allows for wonderful natural light to beam into the restaurant giving the feeling of being outdoors, although you are indoors.
The brickwork, wooden beams and window panels all add to the authenticity. It really has to be seen to understand the length they have gone to with the fit out.
The imported pizza oven is another site to be seen, with its ability to have 9 pizzas rotating and cooked within 3 minutes. Talk about efficient!
Given the atmosphere an Aperol spritz was on the cards that day, particularly as we were enjoying the sunshine …whilst being inside! The fully stocked and licensed bar has everything you could want to compliment your meal.
We got things rolling with a few starters to share between us. The garlic pizza was a great example of the results of the pizza oven. Generous amount of garlic and rosemary sat atop a well-cooked base that was thin and airy.
The Mozzarella in Carrozza is not for the calorie conscious. A generous serve of fried homemade bread that is filled with mozzarella and ‘nduja is a moreish way to get your taste buds going. There wasn’t much hit from the nduja which I appreciated as I’m not one for heat.
The insalata di mare was a hit with my mama who rated it for its fresh and zesty flavor. Essentially it is a mixed seafood salad paired with cannellini beans, fennel and herbs. I personally found it a little too “fishy” for my taste.
Next onto the pasta and our standard disclaimer we are some fairly harsh critics when it comes to pasta. We have said it many times over but we are truly spoilt by our grandparents.
I ordered the linguine caprese which was a very generous portion of homemade linguine with cherry tomatoes and fresh burrata. These are some of my favourite things combined on a plate and I was seriously impressed. The burrata was creamy and really elevated the flavors. A great choice if you are looking for a meat-free pasta.
Mr. M opted for the Linguine Carbonara which is traditionally made with guanciale. This was just the right amount of creaminess but perhaps a little under seasoned. Some salt and pepper on the table would have eliminated this.
My dad, the harshest critic of all, ordered the Tagliatelle al Ragu which had been swapped to penne that day. Unfortunately the pasta was under cooked, not dramatically as it was still edible, but enough to notice. A few more minutes would have been perfect. The ragu however was very rich and it was clear that the pork, veal and beef had been slow cooked for a very long time…8 hours in fact.
My mama ordered the Spadoni pizza which was topped with fior di latte cheese and a mixed selection of cured pork. Again, the pizza base was perfectly cooked and the toppings were generous.
To finish off we ordered coffee and were pleasantly surprised by their decision to serve Italian Moka espresso straight from the Bialetti pot you would typically see at “nonna’s house” . This is definitely novel as I haven’t seen any other Italian restaurant serve coffee like this, particularly as the pot is brought out and poured at your table. Don’t expect to order a cappuccino or latte but do appreciate the authenticity of the coffee on offer.
I imagine this restaurant is going to have a big impact, particularly with the locals. It is family friendly, the staff are hospitable and the food offering is sold, albeit a few little teething issues. It’s somewhere I will return to and if you want a lovely dining experience and a really authentic atmosphere then put Mangiasti? on your list of places to visit. They open for dinner Tuesday to Sunday and Lunch on Friday to Sunday.
Photos by Vanessa