WHEN LA QUERCIA OPENED IN 2008, chef Adam Pegg’s mission to serve hyper-authentic, seasonally driven cuisine in an unpretentious neighbourhood space was fairly radical to this city. Yet, even this multi-award-winning trattoria was not immune to the challenges of the pandemic. Pegg and his cohorts pivoted with speed, offering takeout and converting the front portion of the dining room into a deli with prepared meals, sandwiches and house-made products. Now, takeout is no longer a priority, but the deli is a permanent fixture. The remainder of La Quercia is a 10-seat private dining room. Diners set on enjoying the exemplary pastas, proteins and contorni that made the restaurant’s reputation can now continue to do so at L’Ufficio, the adjoining space that was previously a drop-in wine bar. While Pegg acknowledges this means 50 covers per night instead of 120, there’s now “way more focus to everything,” he notes, and the daily chalkboard menu will keep reflecting the kitchen’s whims. Relocating to a larger property doesn’t interest Pegg. He’d rather invest in the ambitions of his staff, which he does as co-owner of fellow C100B entrant Oca Pastificio and a new, as-yet-unnamed eatery scheduled to open this summer on the Sunshine Coast.
Recommend it to friends and watch for a text of rave reviews and delicious food emojis followed by ‘thank you!’”
Photography by: Sofia Kuan