Claremont, one of the well-heeled western suburbs of Perth, has a number of trendy cafes and bistros, but there is a scarcity of fine dining restaurants, as they traditionally haven’t done well in the area. Gargano, a relaxed Italian diner, or a ristorante-pizzeria as it is called, sits just off Stirling Highway and foots this suburban bill perfectly. Owner Mario Gorgoglione previously ran Bigolaro in Nedlands, had a break on the Gargano coast in Puglia, southern Italy, and returned to Perth 12 years ago and cranked up Gargano here. There is a selection of 25 wood-fired pizzas, many pasta dishes and a range of piscatorial and meaty pleasures. A two-course meal cost around $60. The wine list is stimulating and sommelier Brett Withers not only sources quality wines from both Australia and overseas, but serves them with both aplomb and encyclopaedic knowledge. It’s a pleasure to see him work the tables and, if you get a chance, tug on his shirt sleeve and ask to visit his below-ground cellar. The ristorante also has a separate spacious dining room which is ideal for corporate or private functions. Gargano is not fine dining, but it is probably as close to it as Claremont wishes to go.
Rear of 176 Stirling Hwy, Claremont; phone (08) 9386 8933.
Gargano 2010 Western Australia