On a well known street in Darlinghurst, restaurants come and go like the fashions turn. There are also some stayers on the 'Little Italy' of Stanley Street that baffle and then there are others, like Bill & Toni's, that are still going after more than 40 years of trade.
|Orange cordial at Bill & Toni's Restaurant, Stanley Street, Darlinghurst|
The outdoor balcony looks pretty as a picture, but we're distracted by the arrival of both water and orange cordial at the table. Complimentary orange cordial would have been an absolute treat for me some 20-odd years ago. Now, it's quaint and perhaps a tad unsophisticated, but we're not complaining on a balmy late evening.
There's even less complaint looking at the menu, where prices probably haven't changed in the last decade. A limited selection of pasta as a first dish starts at $10 (lasagna and marinara $12). Mains are all $16. Mains with a pasta side are $18, while a full main with a full pasta are $22. Enough said.
|Lettuce salad on the side|
|Calves liver with onions|
There's quite the selection of mains; and everything one would expect too. Calves liver with onion are just that; both grilled and served with a wedge of lemon and home style boiled carrot sticks and green beans. What the dish lacks in flavour it makes up for in quantity.
Same goes for my main of the veal scaloppine, which would serve four in some restaurants. The tomato sauce had taken on a lot of the flavour from the black olives, while the veal was tender without being overly exciting. It was happy days mopping up the sauce with the basket full of complimentary white bread; fresh and perfectly fluffy for the job.
Indeed, the veal was even good the next day as the huge serving portions meant takeaway boxes were needed. Cheap, cheerful, and hearty servings; true to what it is and has been for the last 40 years, I think Bill & Toni's is just fine the way it is.