Cavallino celebrates Ferragosto with degustation dinners

This year, we can’t travel to Italy … so Italy is coming to Terrey Hills!

One of the biggest events on the festive calendar in Italy is Ferragosto.  Second only to Christmas, Ferragosto is a day away from work, surrounded by lots of food and drink, and family and friends.


And Cavallino is recreating this long-honoured tradition by hosting Ferragosto dinners at their much-loved Italian restaurant. A table of ten is available each Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from August 7, and throughout the month of August, in Cavallino’s private dining room. Bookings are essential, with 48 hours notice to dine this extensive menu.


This majestic room is reminiscent of Italy, with its well-lit ambience and atrium feel, and, of course, a continued commitment to social distancing. The menu is next level too: six courses, an evolving menu each day, and matching wines from the various regions of Italy.


It’s an exclusive experience, with dishes such as: pesce crudo, linguine nero di seppia, crostino con baccala montato, brasato di guanciale di manzo), Acqua di Cedro sorbet palate cleanser, and an evolving dessert of the day.


The intention of the menu is to celebrate the sea and the land, and it’s a symphony of flavours tapping into the simplicity of flavours, with the fresh produce doing the talking. It’s tables of ten only for the degustation dinners, at $1500 per table.


Ferragosto is an ancient tradition, dating back to the year 18bc, when Emperor Augustus created a holiday, ‘Feriae Augusti’ or ‘festivals of Augustus’. On this day, he would organise horse races all across the Roman Empire and people everywhere had huge feasts and celebrated.


The tradition of horse racing has endured, with the second phase of the famous Palio di Siena always held on August 16. In addition to its pagan roots, Catholicism is also linked to Ferragosto, as August 15 is also Assumption Day, or the day when the Virgin Mary ascended to heaven.


When Mussolini started to organise discounted trains, calling them the “people’s trains of Ferragosto” the tradition of Italians taking their only vacations of the year became a thing, where people could travel away from their hometowns and see other parts of Italy.


And today, this huge celebration of life, food, and travel remains, and is honoured in Australia, especially with the huge Five Dock Ferragosto street festival, which draws huge crowds.


Locals know and love Cavallino as the restaurant with horse motifs throughout, hunting lodge-style bar, and now, with a fresh new menu, new owners, and a bar paying homage to the oldest grappa distillery brand in the world, Nardini (the first of its kind in Australasia), it has again become a must visit place to dine and experience a slice of Italy.


General Manager Roberto Dessanti adds to the distinct Italian flavour of the restaurant, and doubles as the restaurant sommelier and creative director with his decades of hospitality and wine importing experience, making him a welcome addition to a clientele demanding Italian authenticity, and is a knowledgable expert, giving back stories on wines from the new wine list, and explaining each dish coming from the kitchen. See the menu here.


Roberto is also an ambassador for Distilleria Nardini, and creates the bespoke Nardini cocktails, which diners can enjoy nestled near the restaurant’s fireplace, with stuzzichini.


“As an Italo-Australian who has lived in Italy, I understand how simple, seasonal flavours can elevate a dining experience to a memorable one, one that you want to come back to time and again,” says Roberto. “The fact that we took over Cavallino just days before restaurants were forced into lockdown has made the challenge even greater for us, and our reopening has made it extra exciting for this reason.”


Diners will also have the option to dine indoors or outdoors, with the newly refreshed outdoor area, fitted with heaters for a cosy winter experience.


Over the years, Cavallino has been committed to bringing Italian authenticity to Sydney, making it a natural choice for Italian food aficionados in the Terrey Hills, Ku-ring-gai Chase and wider Northern Suburbs areas, and beyond.


In fact, one of Australia’s best restaurateurs, Peter Gilmore, from one of Australia’s best restaurants, Quay, was quoted as saying about Cavallino: “We go there quite a bit for the pizzas obviously. It’s a nice family place,” when he was asked at the 2019 Delicious 100 People’s Choice awards what his pick as his own “people’s choice” would be.


The Italian authenticity at Cavallino – which means ‘little horse’ and is a nod to the heritage of the iconic horse on the Ferrari – has been reinvented, and the buzz around the long-time jewel of Terrey Hills is returning, with a comeback to wedding and events and long-table dining there as soon as those government regulations are lifted.



cnr McCarrs Creek Road and Yulong Avenue, Terrey Hills NSW 2084

(02) 9450 1777

Bookings are advised though walk-ins welcome

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