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  • Liane Morris

Simple, Seasonal and Soul-Warming | Pescara


New restaurant Pescara, located onsite at the newly renovated Hermitage Lodge, is inspired by the town of the same name on the Adriatic coast of Italy, where seafood and local produce are the specialities. Head Chef Kelvin Foster and partner, Nicole Panetta are experienced restaurateurs who ran DCs in Mosman for over a decade, with five-star reviews and a solid local clientele that were devastated when they closed.

 

Nicole has Italian heritage and ran Carpaccio in Leichhardt with her father for several years before meeting Kelvin and establishing DCs in Mosman. The restaurant was so popular that during the first covid lockdown, they were forced to hire an additional chef to keep up with demand. Woolworths are currently redeveloping the site on which the restaurant was situated, so they decided to relocate further afield in the Hunter Valley and look for new opportunities.


The new opportunity didn’t take long to manifest when the couple met the new owners of Hermitage Lodge, and Pescara was born. The restaurant serves simple, seasonal and soul-warming Italian food with an emphasis on high-quality local produce.


“We’ve started out with a menu that’s completely true to us - fresh, simple and from the heart. Much like our loved menu at our Mosman restaurant,” says owner Nicole Panetta.


“We knew these dishes worked and that they were popular. We also recognise that others aren’t really using veal so much or Scampi. We also make our Gnocchi in-house, and the results are exceptional!”


Nicole refers to the popularity of the veal dishes on the menu, Impanato - crumbed veal cutlet, topped with rocket, tomatoes and parmesan cheese and Vitello Limone - veal scaloppine and potato in a lemon, caper and leek sauce as well as the Scampi served butterflied and baked then topped with a lemon, garlic and butter sauce. The housemade Gnocchi is pan-fried and served with spicy Calabrese salami, pancetta and spinach. Also worth a mention is the Spaghettini served with Australian Blue-Swimmer Crab meat, chilli, garlic and white wine.


The couple loves their new Hunter Valley lifestyle, finding it more relaxing than Sydney, with more space, less traffic and more cellar doors to build working relationships with. Keep an eye out on their socials for their BYO nights!

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