Rostrevor Pizzeria

Today on the Dining Diaries…

A Surf n’ Turf is really a Turf with a touch of Surf
Boiled veggies  (including cabbage) in water constitutes Minestrone and
Wonderfully welcoming staff and great aromas over promise food quality expectations.

FullSizeRender[4].jpgDiners today we found ourselves at Rostrevor Pizzeria. I used to live in the area but have never been here before! In fact, I’m not even sure I knew it existed and that’s why I was further surprised to learn that they’ve been around since 1988!
Since that time their restaurant has been featured in some local newspapers and they’ve won a few awards which they proudly display on one of their walls.

Hubby and I parked and as we approached the restaurant, we could already see the staff inside, eagerly looking out at us. It was like they couldn’t wait for us to come and try their food.  We opened the doors and immediately the gorgeous smells hit us. Pizza, tomato, garlic, basil…. everything you identify with Italian cooking.
I’m also pretty sure everyone that was working there greeted us! It was such a lovely welcome! It made me feel like these guys have a good working atmosphere and they’re proud of their food and what they produce and really want to share it with their customers.

I really, really, really wanted to like this place. I really really did.

We sat in the dining area which is separate to the “take away” area. We were first in the dining room but there were a few other tables of people by the time we left.
I asked the server a few questions about the menu and she was pretty knowledgeable.

Because I wasn’t too hungry and it was cold, I decided to go for the Minestrone and a serve of bruschetta.
Hubby chose the Surf n’ Turf.
Maybe if we’d chosen pizza’s this review would have been completely different but we’d had pizza just recently and didn’t particularly feel like having it again….

They did have one of my favourite wines on the menu so that was one thing I enjoyed!

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The restaurant is pretty comfortable to sit in and had a bit of a modern feel.

Not really very Italian and in my opinion, an Italian restaurant should always have Italian music playing.

This one didn’t have any music playing and the lack of background noise was quite noticeable.

The description of the Minestrone on the menu says “Thick Italian Vegetable Soup”
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Honestly, I wanted to like this sooooo bad. It wasn’t thick. It says “vegetable” so I wasn’t really expecting beef but I always put a bit of beef in my minestrone soup. There was no pasta in this either. Instead, what I got was some boiled veggies, including cabbage minus salt.

Ok, no time for tears, I really love bruschetta and was looking forward to this one as the server has confirmed that it was just toasted continental bread drizzled with olive oil, with tomato and basil on top. Perfect. Just as a good authentic bruschetta should be.

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The bread was nice and toasty but sadly that’s where the compliments end. I couldn’t taste the olive oil although I think I did see that some had been drizzled on there. The tomatoes weren’t “sweet”. In fact they barely had any taste but that could be a seasonal thing.. but the most unforgivable thing was the lack of fresh basil. I just could not taste it. I could see green flecks of something on my tomato. Was it just not fresh? Not basil? I don’t know!! But again, I was really disappointed and it’s such a shame as the service was pretty good.

Now onto Hubby’s Turf with a touch of Surf.

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Now it’s not like we order this regularly so maybe our expectations are wrong. See the two little prawns on top of the meat? That was the “surf” part.
The meat was ok. Beautifully tender in parts and full of gristle in others. I didn’t mind the taste of it but the heavy garlic sauce on top was a bit of a turn off.

I couldn’t see any pizza’s coming out from where I was but there was a fairly regular stream of people coming in to pick up pizzas. Maybe that’s where we went wrong… maybe we really should have had a pizza…

Unfortunately, even though there is obviously a lot of history here and the staff were so very lovely, I can’t see us ever going back to try any of the pizzas but please, if you’ve been here and have a different experience, I’d love to hear it!

Have you been to Rostrevor Pizzeria?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!

Till next we chow….

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Panacea

Today on the Dining Diaries….

Latin music transports us,
Wonderful flavours “wow” us and
We interact with passionate staff who treat us like old friends.

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Diners today we were at Panacea at Marion.

I must admit, this was the place I was most interested in when the Westfield Marion addition/development was revealed.

I just love the look of it!
Lots of red exposed brick, wood and iron giving it possibly and industrial look? I’m not up with decor but I do know what I like and what makes me feel comfortable and at ease and this place does it for me!


We were greeted but lovely staff, handed some menus and went to take our seats.
The choices on the menu were a little different to what we were used to but they did seem really good and we had a bit of a hard time deciding what we were going to go with.

In fact out lovely waitress came and went a few times while we were still trying to decide what to eat and drink and that’s not usual for us! She was patient and answered all the questions we asked about both the restaurant and the food.

Finally we decided to start with Meatballs – pork & veal cooked in a rich tomato sauce,  as suggested by our waitress, and also a serve of Patatas Bravas – crisp fried potatoes with fresh salsa & sherry vinegar.
For main I chose the fish of the day special  – Atlantic Salmon – and hubby, much to my surprise, went for the Gnocchi. Unfortunately, I didn’t write down how it appeared on the menu and it’s not on their online menu so I can’t tell you exactly what it came with, only that it had cauliflower and cream in it as well.

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The first plates came out fairly quickly.

How good do those potatoes look!!!

The salsa doesn’t look like much but it gave those potatoes such a unique flavour.

I wish I was experienced enough to tell you what herbs and spices were used, but whatever it was, it was just a magical pairing.

The potatoes were crispy on the outside yet soft on the inside and that salsa was sweet and just so delicious!

I was so glad we’d chosen this…. and equally glad I had taken my half and put it on a separate plate before hubby got his hands on it…

fullsizerender3Our second starter was the Meatball dish as suggested by the waitress.

Again this dish really impressed.

We had four good sized meat balls on this plate and they were as tender as you can imagine and full of flavour.

What I loved most of all though was that sauce!! The tomatoes were so fresh and sweet. It was so lovely to eat and the bread they brought out with it was crispy and toasty warm. I wish they’d given us a bit more bread actually!
It was a wonderful way to start and I was super excited to see what would be coming out next….

I’m pretty sure my choice was the best out of our two mains.

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That salmon could not have been cooked better. The skin was crispy and the inside was just perfectly cooked. It looks like a small piece of the plate but it was really deceivingly substantial. I was really hoping hubby wasn’t going to ask me for more (I did let him have a teensy taste)
fullsizerender1The potato rosti was also a great accompaniment.
I’m not a huge fan of hollandaise sauce myself as I usually find it too thick and too creamy but they had a generous amount on here for those that do.

Because I loved this so much I thought I’d show you another picture of my dish from a different angle. See how big that serve is?

Again the herbs and spices used were just perfect. I’m not a big fan of coleslaw but if you do like it, you would have loved what was on my plate. It was very creamy and I felt my hips widening just looking at it!

Hubby’s Gnocchi looked interesting .

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It was a little bit deceiving because he would go to get what he thought was a gnocchi, and it would turn out to be a piece of cauliflower.
He too said the flavour combinations were amazing. Pairing gnocchi, caulifower and walnuts is probably a brave thing to do but it really worked, especially when covered in that gorgeous creamy sauce.

One thing I was disappointed in was that I didn’t notice the Sangria on the drinks menu until we were well into our mains!!
There are also a good selection of pizza’s on the menu and I’m curious to see how they taste.

When I went to pay the bill, I told the server that everything was really good, the owner heard and came to tell me about some of the other food  items on the menu and to talk about his personal favourites, and then the chef came out too to hear what the feedback was about the food. Their passion really shines through and I loved seeing that!

Panacea, I will definitely be back and this time it will be for Pizza and Sangria!!

Have you been to Panacea?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!

Till next we chow…

The Maid

Today on the Dining Diaries…

We learn that if Cleanliness is next to Godliness, this menu is downright hell on earth,
We find a place that dresses their side salads AND provides enough sauces for the wedges and,
We order a “lasagne” dish with such a generous portion of meat that we question whether it was lasagne.

 

Diners today we were at The Maid and although we got off to a shaky start, it was not so bad in the end!
batch1369975281_the_maid_and_magpie_hotel_1870The first thing that disappointed was that I couldn’t really find any information about this historic building. I found a little online but nothing in the pub itself.
Granted, I may not have looked hard enough but this building is just bursting with history and is such a landmark in this part of the city that I was surprised they wouldn’t be celebrating it.
I’ve always known this building as “The Maid and Magpie” but see their website, and everything else (apart from their building) refers to it as “The Maid”
It’s almost as if they want to distance themselves from the history.

Secondly, we arrived early and were sitting at table near the bistro entrance waiting patiently.The staff could see us. We have arrived early before and staff have still welcomed us and shown us through to a table. This time however, a few minutes before our booked time we stood at the entrance waiting to be seated and staff just continued doing their thing around us. What did they think we were standing there for?

Finally a very nice lady asked “Are you right?” and kindly pointed across the floor to our table. “We’ve got you sitting over there”. Just pick one, any one?

The dining room itself was smaller than I imagined. Pleasant. Candles giving romantic lighting and sixties soul music playing. I liked it.  There was a nice outdoor eating area and a few television screens so you don’t miss out on the game!

maid7The room was clean, unlike the menus that came a few minutes later…

I debated posting this picture as it doesn’t show them in a good light and mostly everything else was good, but honestly, is there any excuse for this? It made us feel a little ill to be honest.
We were the only ones in the dining room for the first forty five minutes (it filled quickly after that) so it’s not like they were running out of menus.
However that’s all small nit-picky stuff. Onto the food!

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We were boring and ordered wedges to share again.

What I want to draw your attention to is the amount of sweet chili and sour cream!

Lovely!

Enough to finish the whole bowl of wedges with. Thank you Maid!

And now another surprise. Hubby didn’t order a steak for main. I know! I was shocked too!! Not only that, he chose a pasta dish! Again, shocking!
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I don’t have a copy of the menu so I’m not sure exactly how it was presented on there except that it said “Lasagne with 11 Meats” or something like that.

Doesn’t that dish look divine? Being a pasta lover I had to reach over and try some.

The meat was soooooo tender, the pasta was lovely soft and melted in my mouth and that sauce!!!

maid2His dish also came with a side salad and it was dressed!
This was a gorgeous Winter warming dish!

Another tick for the Maid!

I thought I’d picked the winning dish tonight but hubby definitely got that honour. Eleven meats is a lot though isn’t it? I tried to think what they could be but decided it’s probably better not knowing and I probably shouldn’t bring that thought up with hubby while he’s eating it.

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I chose a Pub favourite, Open Steak Sandwich.
I wasn’t successful in getting a good photo. It looked better on the plate than this picture allows for.

Being overwhelmed with the size of it, I tried one of the sweet potato wedges first and just loved it! Soooo creamy inside yet still had a little firmness and crunch to it. Best sweet potato wedges I’ve had in a while.
I gave hubby the egg and bacon – I really just like the meat and caramelised onion when it comes to steak sandwiches… oh, and the bread! The bread has to be right too and that’s another thing The Maid got right! I just love this continental bread and it was lightly toasted and just so nice to eat even on it’s own.
I was a little disappointed with mine. The steak looked pink enough inside but it was tough and chewy and because it had been sitting on tomato and lettuce leaves straight from the cooler, it was cold. Even the caramelised onions couldn’t make it better this time. I didn’t hate it, it just wasn’t what I was expecting.

By the time we left the place was filling fast.

It’s definitely a popular place and I’d encourage you to get down there and see what you think for yourselves.

Have you been to The Maid and Magpie?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!

Till next we chow…

Pizza e Mozzarella Bar

Today on the Dining Diaries,

We discover pizza in Naples must be just ‘ok’
“Hype” can have a negative affect and
When the moon hits your eye and it ain’t a pizza pie, there’s no amore’ to be found.

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Today the Dining team were in Adelaide CBD.

We have heard a LOT of buzz about the Pizza e Mozzarella Bar situated in Pirie st.
I had even previously tasted a slice or two when a pizza had been taken back to the office by one of my work colleagues and had been impressed.

I had also heard Matt Preston from the Australian version of Masterchef say that this place has the best pizza outside of Naples

I didn’t want to let past experience sway me though, and just wanted to judge my dining experience on the present – as with all my reviews.

My reviews aren’t meant to be a be all and end all, just a written account of my opinions on the day I went into an establishment. FullSizeRender (44)

When you first walk into the Pizza e Mozzarella Bar, you walk into an invitingly warm room. The smell hits you first.

Woodfired pizza’s cooking means there’s a heavenly smokey smell throughout, with hints of garlic and tomato.

FullSizeRender (43)The carpet and mismatched water glasses make you feel like you’re at your nonna’s place.

It definitely whet’s your appetite!

A waiter addressed us as soon as we walked in, set us at a table and explained the specials to us. He was very thorough and persuasive because I ended up choosing the meatball entree that he suggested. Hubby went for the Capricciosa Pizza.
You can also view their menu online which I usually find handy.

When the dishes came to the table I was pretty excited. I could smell the tomato and basil coming from mine and it had been smothered in a gorgeous sauce.
I couldn’t wait to try it!

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The meatballs were pork and veal (from memory) mince and had mozzarella cheese in the middle.

It’s not in the photo but this dish also comes with four slices of continental bread which is just heavenly!! So deliciously fresh and soft.

I started mopping up my sauce with the bread before I’d even tasted the meatball!

That sauce was just divine and probably the best thing I had in this place tonight.

I’m sorry to say that while hubby didn’t have an awful experience with his pizza, he didn’t love it either.

FullSizeRender (46)The dough was really spongy and fresh and tasted great. The only problem was, the centre of the pizza was watery and soggy.

He wasn’t able to pick up a slice. Maybe that’s how they do them in Naples? Although I’ve been to Naples and I don’t remember the pizza’s being like that.

I felt really disappointed for him because I knew he must he was looking forward to having some good pizza.

The pizza had a bit of a rustic look. He also felt like there wasn’t enough toppings. The photo doesn’t really bring out how barren the pizza was. However, I can attest to the fact that in Italy, the pizza’s are like that. Hubby has a Canadian/American background and I’ve seen the way they pile on the toppings over there then smother it was cheese and more cheese. Sadly this pizza was barren however, what was on there DID taste good.
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The music that was playing when we were there was eighties and nineties pop. I would have thought they could have gone for something Italian – something more authentic. It was sometimes a distraction.

I was told they make that beautiful bread I ate in-house and in fact, I could buy some to take home if I wanted.
The restaurant also does cooking classes which may interest some people. Their website gives you more information.

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For the dollars that this place asks, and for the reputation that it has, I would have expected a little more and I’m sorry to say we were a bit disappointed and not entirely full when we left.

After strolling through the city, we went to the Adelaide Central Markets and made everything right again with a couple of treats!

Love the Adelaide Markets!

Have you been to the Pizza e Mozzarella Bar?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!

Till next we chow…

Villa Romana – Cairns

Today on The Dining Diaries,

A bruschetta dish suffers an identify crisis while bacon plays hide and seek (and wins)
Pizza dough so light we barely thought about the calories and,
A restaurant so noisy and bustling, we were spared having to make polite conversation.

photo-4.jpgThe Spoon You Fork Me team were in Cairns back in February and Villa Romana was a place we had walked past at least once a day.
We always intended to try it out but it just never worked out that way.

Four months later and we were back in Cairns and this time, we were going to stop in!
This place seems to be perpetually full of people and it was no different tonight with a triathlon on this weekend. Every restaurant in Cairns was exceptionally busy and so was Villa Romana.

When hubby and I walked by, there were no tables available and our host gave us the option of waiting at the bar but we decided to come back later.

Thirty minutes later and this three hundred plus seat restaurant was still completely full but we decided to wait and it wasn’t too long before we were shown to a table.
The menu was typically Italian although I did spot an interesting salad I wanted to try.

We ordered the Capricciosa Pizza, a Bruschetta and Insalata di Spinaci which was a salad of baby spinach, sliced apple, roasted walnuts, crispy bacon and zesty lemon dressing.

Surprisingly, although the restaurant was full, food was coming out quite quickly.

The table behind us ordered a calzone and it looked enormous as it was brought to the table. When it was cut into, it soon deflated however I could still see lots of cheese and filling in there.
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Our food came and I couldn’t help but be a little disappointed when I saw my bruschetta.
It was on pizza dough.

The menu didn’t say it would be on pizza dough.
I was expecting it on toasted continental bread.
If I’d wanted a pizza, I would have ordered one!

The only difference between hubby’s pizza and my bruschetta were the shape and the toppings…

However, the dough was SOOOO fresh and light. They have wood ovens at Villa Romano and you can taste that wood oven taste in their pizza’s. Smoky, crisp and delicately light, topped with quality toppings.

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This place knows how to do pizza!
My bruschetta was good. I got over the disappointment of how it was made. I really love basil pesto and that was prominent on this bruschetta however in places it was heavily salted and that was a bit disappointing too.

IMG_6379The salad was exceptional and definitely my favourite. Such a wonderful combination of foods!!
I had to read the menu again though as I was sure it had said crispy bacon but I couldn’t taste any. It was either so subtle I couldn’t taste it, or not in there at all.

I’m not a bacon lover though so it didn’t disappoint me that there was potentially no bacon. I really loved this salad. The spinach was fresh, the walnuts were crunchy and the apple brought a delicious sweetness. Everything worked so well together.

Hubby had no complaints about his pizza. I tried a bit and yes, his dough was definitely the same taste as mine.

FullSizeRender (34)All in all we had a nice time here. It was good to be in a busy, bustling place but it was hard if you wanted to actually have a conversation because it was just soooo noisy! I’d hate to be here on a first date.

Hubby and I ended up people watching and communicating the way most people who have been together many years do, with minimal conversation.
Next time we’re in Cairns I want to try their breakfast buffet as that has caught my eye once or twice in the past!

Have you been to Villa Romano’s?

What did you think?

Let me know in the comments below!
Till next we chow…