826 High Street
Thornbury 3071 Victoria
Tel: (03) 9416 8373
Visited for dinner 13 June 2012
Total meal cost: $73.50
This was a belated birthday treat at a local family-owned and run restaurant.
The decor is functional and modernistic, with white walls offset by some black and grey prints, black lanterns hanging from the ceiling and white chairs and tablecloths. It has the feel of a busy family restaurant, with several members of the family working here. Despite the spacious feel it was quite possible to have a normal conversation.
The service was excellent and they happily answered all the questions that I had about the food and it is obviously a family business run with love and care.
Whilst we were waiting for our meals we were brought a serving a ciabatta served with a mixture of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The bread was fresh and soft and went nicely with the oil and vinegar.
As condiments we were offered a selection of freshly grated parmesan cheese, dried chilli flakes and wet chilli (mostly red but a few flecks of green) in an oil base.
Fusilli con pollo e spinaci
Home-made fusilli with chicken, mushrooms, spinach and parmesan in a light creamy sauce.
The fusilli was tightly wound and cooked 'al dente', but it had that wonderful quality that freshly hand-made pasta possesses. The baby spinach was lightly wilted and the sliced field mushrooms lightly sauteed but retaining a very fresh taste. Interspersed amongst the other ingredients were small chunks of fresh and lightly salted chicken breast, which complemented the other flavours very well. The dish was finished off with a light creamy sauce. The overall combination was quite delicious.
Penne with home-made spicy sausage, olives and chilli tossed in napoli sauce.
This dish was served with commercial pasta but generous chunks of home-made spicy pork sausage. The tomato sauce had flecks of parsley through it and a very forthright tomato taste with some smouldering then lingering slow burning chili flavour underneath. The pork sausage had a very smooth and rich taste and a "melt in the mouth" quality with visible chunks of meat and just the right amount of fat, but unfortunately I found several pieces of gristle in the section of the dish that I tasted.
"The Baldovino" - a house special. An Italian version of 'bread and butter pudding' incorporating fresh blueberries and raspberries and served with a raspberry coulis and vanilla ice-cream. Icing sugar was also sprinkled around the margins of the plate.
The cake component was dense but moist and well-infused with the flavour of the berries and a glistening slightly caramelised topping (possibly from melted sugar on top).
Milk chocolate mousse cake served on a crumbled dark chocolate biscuit base with cocoa sprinkled on the top, a chocolate drizzle across the plate and a fresh strawberry. Icing sugar was also sprinkled around the margins of the plate.
The chewy biscuit base was well-complimented by the light and creamy mousse which had a very smooth texture. Perhaps my only criticism would be that the taste was a little bland for my liking (but I do prefer dark chocolate).
The coffee had a good strong and forthright bitter taste with a fullness in the mouth and a lingering aftertaste and a real "tingle on the tongue". There was a nice amount of froth on top of the cappuccino. With the slightly astringent quality that comes with a strong coffee, it was very refreshing and cleansing to the palate at the end of the meal.
The coffee beans come from Coffex, but it is their own 'Baldovino' blend with dark roasted and light roasted Arabica beans.