Food Drink

Did South Australia’s Best Italian Restaurant Just Open In Clare?

If you are after incredible Italian food, great ambience, and reasonable pricing, this brand new rustic restaurant delivers.

In a State flooded with amazing dining options, it’s a rarity to be surprised.

Lately I’ve been to countless beautiful cafes and restaurants, each more architecturally wonderful than the last, and all with visual masterpieces served up for your dining pleasure. So when my family and I walked into Umbria in Clare, I expected much of the same. But this restaurant was different to the others, and it was exactly what we were after on a crisp Winter afternoon.

Owner & Chef Edoardo Strappa has just opened the rustic Italian restaurant on the main street in Clare, and it’s probably the most authentic Italian restaurant I’ve been to in SA.

Nestled in a quaint, historic building next to popular dining destination Seed, Umbria feels like home. The wooden bar and furniture take you back to the old school Italian restaurants you went to with your family as kids. You know, the ones that had the wine bottles with candles wedged firmly atop, incredible smells wafting from the kitchen, and Italian music drifting through the air. The ambience is thick, and the venue’s stone walls and wooden beams work perfectly with the decor.

It’s casual, and friendly, and easy. But could the food deliver? The answer was a resounding yes.

A simple menu offers several sharing dishes for starters, and the olives in oil with fennel seeds are a must.

The selection of pastas aren’t your usual suspects, but every. single. dish. delivered.

We tried 4 of the 6 pastas and every single person left Umbria raving. In fact they’re still talking about it.

I had the Pappardelle Norcina, with homemade pappardelle in a rich sauce of Mathie’s Italian sausages, truffle puree and cream. It was to die for. Not too rich, but sensationally flavoursome. Every bite was a delight.

The Ravioli Di Canguro (Eduardo’s famous signature dish) was made from port braised kangaroo, with sautéed mushrooms and zucchini and a dash of cream, and it was absolutely divine.

My sister ordered with Fettuccine Bolognese, and swore it was the best she’d ever had.

My mother ordered Gnocchetti Edo, which was homemade small wholemeal gnocchi tossed in a ragu or Mathie’s Italian sausages, beans and tomato. She delighted in every mouthful.

I’ve actually never seen so many people besotted with their food. It was glorious.

Our kids are 5 and 7, and ravished their bowls of Penne Comodoro. Fabulously simple for my super fussy eaters. They finished their bowls, which never happens. I’m delighted someone has finally understood that packing a kid’s meal full of herbs and spices doesn’t work for many children, as much as we wish it would. The kid’s menu was great, and at $10.50 a dish, it wasn’t overpriced.

And have I mentioned the wine list? Packed with fantastic Italian selections, alongside some South Aussie favourites, it’s a winner – and there’s something for every budget.

Umbria had nailed their offering of a ‘rustic Italian restaurant’. You could easily have a romantic dinner for two there and leave with some beautiful memories. Or if you’re like us and need a family friendly place for a hearty meal between visits to wineries, it’s also just the ticket.

Owner Edoardo Strappa, formerly a chef at Skillogalee, knows how to make Italian food explode on your palate, and is a treasure to the Clare Valley.  While the menu is set to change regularly to make the most of seasonal produce, we have no doubt it will only get better.

Whether you’re local or a visitor to the area, Umbria needs to be on your list if you’re after incredible, tasty food, for an affordable price.

Umbria is open for lunch and dinner at 308 Main Street, Clare.

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