PEREN­NIAL CROWD PLEASER

THIS BEACH­FRONT EATERY CER­TAINLY KNOWS THE ROPES AND ITS ADOR­ING PUB­LIC KNOWS EX­ACTLY WHAT IT LIKES

The Weekend Post - Cairns Eye - - Front Page -

HERE’S an im­por­tant tip – don’t go to L’unico look­ing any­thing less than your per­sonal best.

You’re al­most cer­tain to bump into peo­ple you know.

It’s that kind of place, a true lo­cals’ haunt, a place where folk go to hang out with friends, see and be seen in the most beachy ca­sual way, with good food and drink.

We’ve been com­ing here for more than 10 years and it is the ut­ter con­sis­tency that en­sures L’unico’s un­ri­valled pop­u­lar­ity in this arena.

There’s never re­ally a bad time to visit this busy trat­to­ria, but tonight it is in its el­e­ment – the weather is per­fect, there’s a light breeze com­ing in off the ocean and the mood is civilised jovi­al­ity.

The house is full and we’re re­lieved we’ve had fore­thought to book.

A ta­ble for two on the ve­ran­dah is per­fec­tion, with the moon­lit waves lap­ping au­di­bly along with laugh­ter, the soft clink of glasses and odd pop of a cork.

We have a bot­tle of food-friendly Ade­laide Hills pinot gri­gio on ice (sport­ingly la­belled Franco Baresi) in an­tic­i­pa­tion of L’unico’s seared scal­lops with truf­fle emul­sion and a deftly light touch of chilli.

It’s a good mar­riage of del­i­cate flavours, the hon­ey­dew hints in the wine al­low­ing the sub­tlety of fresh seafood to shine.

We’ve stocked up with an­other starter which is a tad heartier, a veg­gie stack with melted goat’s cheese.

One a bed of rocket, grilled egg­plant, red pepper and a slab of pump­kin, it would make a suit­able main for a light ap­petite.

A plate of mus­sels with toasted fo­cac­cia be­ing served nearby has caught the eye of many din­ers who are lech­er­ously cov­et­ing. Not only vis­ually im­pres­sive, it smells good too.

To fin­ish we’re shar­ing a pizza of rocket, pro­sciutto crudo and parme­san, it’s im­pec­ca­bly sim­ple, prov­ing not ev­ery meal has to be elab­o­rate to be per­fect. The crust is thin and crisp, the in­gre­di­ents fresh and plen­ti­ful.

Ser­vice is for­giv­ably patchy if you take into ac­count the sheer in­dus­try of your sur­rounds.

Every­one seems happy enough though.

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