There's a new place open at 1/321 North East Road, Hampstead Gardens and it's Il Toro Pasta & Espresso Bar. They're open for breakfast, lunch and dinner 6 days a week (closed Tuesdays).
The owner, chef, barista, waiter, cashier and all around nice guy inside is Jim. So far, he's running the place on his own. This is good news for customers because Jim makes great coffee and food and he's the one making it for you each and every time. As his clientele grows, I think he'll need some additional staff but so far so good.
The coffee is a strong Italian style coffee and comes in a speccy double walled glass.
The food is made with care and it's great value too. Just Eggs $6.90 (free range eggs cooked to your liking on ciabatta toast) and Bacon $1.50 adds up to $8.40 for a delicious bargain breakfast. And a generous serve as well.
There are other breakfast options too such as Calabrese Eggs, Asiago Omelette, Colazione Completa or Eggs Benedict. All are made with good quality, tasty free range eggs which should keep most people happy. But if you're not in the mood or time of day for breakfast, that's ok too. Make sure you start with the Garlic Bread (3 slices wood oven bread with organic butter, garlic, parsley), another steal at $2.50.
The pasta doesn't disappoint either. It's all handmade traditional artisan Studio Panagrazio pasta, which is Jim and his wife's other business. Our favourite dish so far is the Fettucine Al Pollo $11.90 (Studio Panagrazio laminated fettucine with pan fried free range chicken breast, smoked bacon, field mushrooms and rose sauce). Balanced, full flavoured and an awesome dish.
Before you pay your bill, make sure you check out the glass cabinet (left of shot below) for some Italian treats. The cakes change regularly and there's always something tempting.
I can recommend the Sfogliatelle $3, a shell shaped Italian pastry. This was my first sfogliatelle (still practicing my pronunciation), and it certainly won't be my last.
Adelaide's new hidden Italian gem is Il Toro Pasta & Espresso Bar. We need more places like this in Adelaide.
Update 1 June 2012: Il Toro seems to have closed. I don't have any other information at this stage.
Update 20 Oct 2012: Il Toro has reopened. There was a fire in May, forcing some renovations which have now been completed. Jim is back in business!