I had this on a list of restaurants to try after reading Terry Durack’s very positive review in the Sydney Morning Herald in June 2010. But it took me over a year to get there and not a minute too soon!
My pal, D., arranged dinner for six. I knew the restaurant was Italian but forgot it was Milanese. I’m liking this trend of restaurants that specialize in a specific region, rather than a whole country or indeed a whole cuisine. We were greeted with tiny glasses of complimentary prosecco, a nice way for us to lead into the wonderful negronis that they serve.
Saturday and the place was busy, and we were looked after by quite a few different waiters.
We were brought an amuse-bouche, a tiny (and I mean small, perhaps a centimetre across) reproduction of a fried egg – with smoked salmon. Cute. They arranged for us to have a mix of the appetizers – they were each and every one interesting and tasty, though I *loved* the chicken liver paté.
We all ordered differently for our mains. S. found his pork neck braised in milk the best pork he’d ever tasted, and I think D. gave his beef cheek with vanilla mashed potatoes high ratings. M’s pork cutlet looked superb but he wished it came with a sauce. S. teased me about ordering $35 meatballs, but c’mon. Look at these.
I was pleased with my choice. The meatballs were like none I’ve tasted, rich and dense, and the soft polenta bed was gorgeous.
The wine list was a bit pricey but we still managed to polish off a few bottles, and didn’t have any room for dessert. Still, we were brought two complimentary tiramisu (very nice, indeed).
So far, I’ve described the bringing of free things, as well as the good, if not great, food. But here’s the thing. Every person who served or interacted with us was charming and professional and went beyond the regular call of duty, refilling water and wine glasses, removing the glasses during the first course to make sure we had more room, checking to see if all was OK, and bringing us free things on a busy Saturday night. It made the good food even better, the cozy atmosphere even more charming and it made me certain to return.