All dining experiences leave you with one last, resonant image. Altitude? Views. Quay? Snow egg. And Cervo, the north shore’s latest Italian offering? It’s got to be the deer.
Interestingly located in the leafy suburb of Northbridge, a couple of doors down from Northbridge Plaza, Cervo clearly takes its namesake seriously. A giant wall-mounted deer head makes eye contact with diners, nudging them towards the bar for another drink. Another deer (this time with its body attached) is brought to life in chalk on the back wall, and appears to be clambering up the dining room stairs. Like the décor, the menu pays homage to deer-like dishes from venison carpaccio to prosciutto and chorizo pizza.
There is something about a low-lit room that makes people let their hair down and Cervo’s got the ambient lighting thing down pat. Distressed timber floorboards line the walls on one side of the room, while the other half is darkened with blackboard paint. White chalk trees sprout out of deep brown leather booth seats that run the length of the dining room and continue the “cabin in the woods” feel of the restaurant. It’s chic enough for a business lunch while being hip enough for the beautiful young locals to make it their hangout.
The kitchen seems to be getting on its feet. Some Italian staples, like mushroom arancini, are good, but inconsistent. Likewise, the pizza has the potential to be impressive; the bases were perfectly thin and crispy but the toppings could use refinement and some balance.
We hope that Cervo’s word association will soon have stronger ties to its handmade Italian fare than its fit out. That’s when the Northbridge locals will decide whether Cervo is a wooded adventure worth staying up for, even when everything around it is closed.
Read more about Cervo here