Another weekend, another dinner voucher to use! This time at Osvaldo Polletti, a ‘home-style’ Italian restaurant on Norton Street. My first impressions were good – the decor is beautifully simple and comforting, and the staff are clearly pros. I love their chairs too.
Plus, as part of our voucher deal, on arrival we were each brought a little carafe of the most gorgeously smooth red wine, 2008 Nero D’Avola from Sicily. It was so good we decided to buy another bottle to share. God how I love Italian reds! This one in particular was a real corker.
To start we chose crumbed, deep-fried olives stuffed with goats cheese ($10), bruschetta tricolore ($11) and whitebait, saffron and poppyseed fritters with chilli aioli ($14).
They were all excellent, but for me the tricolour bruschetta toppings were the highlight: fresh, smooth pesto, a light and garlicky cannellini bean dip, and a delightfully smoky and slightly sweet capsicum thing. The aioli accompanying the whitebait fritters was exceptional too, with a little chilli zing.
The mains we chose were pan-fried groper with salsa verde and zucchini ($30), rabbit, porcini and exotic mushroom ravioli with pecorino romano ($28), wet-roasted milk-fed Junee lamb with tomato, anchovy and herbs ($33) and grain-fed Black Angus fillet with tricolour salad ($33). All of the dishes were simple but beautifully executed, cooked to perfection and well seasoned. I’d order the silky-textured, earthy-flavoured rabbit ravioli again in a heartbeat!
A few of the desserts are served with a small glass of something delicious, which sounded like a great idea. The panforte was rich and dense, but the accompanying glass of Grand Rutherglen muscat transformed it into a truly memorable combination ($16). Oh! The sticky, cakey, puddingy flavours! Divine! And while the gorgonzola stuffed Medjool dates were very good on their own, once again it was the pairing with a tumbler of black sherry which took it to another level ($18). Absolute heaven! This is what dessert is all about! Throw in a couple of espressos and an affogato ($11) and there is the perfect end to a very delicious meal. At about $85 for three courses, a couple of glasses of wine and a sticky it’s not exactly cheap, but it is good value, delicious and very satisfying.