I actually didn't have as many posts as I thought. Because a lot of places were our favourites and repeats, therefore I didn't take photos to blog. Oh well, there's still a few fair posts to go. :D
Dad was in the mood for Italian one night, so we scanned through the Entertainment Book for a nice and near and recommended Italian restaurant. Dad picked La Contadina Cafe, Restaurant & Bar out of the selections we gave him.
La Contadina is a cozy little Italian place. I really like the atmosphere of the place. It's casual and homey - with cluttered pictures on the wall, lots of knickknacks and so on. (Food pictures are a little lacking because of light, unsteady hands and really hungry people, sorry!)
We ordered an entree to share, and since Dad is a huge fan of tomatoes, the Bruschetta Florentino ($15) it is!
Bruschetta on my plate! Ready to be gobbled!
It's honestly lovely. The bread was toasty-crispy with no black/burnt bits (AHAHA) and the tomatoes were VERY seasoned nicely with a mix of herbs. It was not overly soggy or crunchy as the case with some bruschettas. There was just enough tasty cheese to go with the bread and everything went together in a nice crunchy mouthful of bread and tomatoes. Thumbs up!
Dad ordered his main, Panzarut Du' Casa ($22) (Main), which was pasta pockets with spinach ricotta and King Island creamy tomato.
At first Dad thought it wasn't going to be good because he wasn't a fan of pasta pockets, but he was sold after the first bite. The pasta pockets were perfect - not too doughy (Dad's fear) or thick. The spinach ricotta filling was absolutely yummy, never knew that spinach and ricotta goes so well together! And added with the tomato sauce - which was made with fresh tomatoes - Dad was sure satisfied with his meal!
Mum had Vitello Au Furno ($26.90), essentially oven-baked veal parmigiana.
Mum thought the veal was cooked just right - and there was a LOT of veal, around 5 pieces of meat. She certainly enjoyed the accompanying tomatoes and the sauce was very good - hearty and herby and complemented the meat really well.
Me and my sisters ordered two mains to share, because we weren't too hungry. Me and big Sis couldn't resist the Risotto Du' Mar ($32), because it was risotto sauteed with chili garlic prawns, lobster and Morton bay bugs! YUM!
Wowee! We adored it! It was so good! The lobster and bay bug wasn't from-the-sea fresh, but that didn't stop the risotto from being divine. The seafood overtones were toned down by a mixture of herbs and risotto and the risotto was cooked just right, not mushy and not undercooked. A mouthful of creamy risotto, prawn,lobster and bay bug was like WOW. It was just really good. I reckoned it would be even better if the seafood was uber fresh but that would be nitpicking.
Our other shared dish was Rigatone De' Ladri ($22), which was venison and duck dumpling meatballs in "pomodor ragu sauce" (no idea what that is, not Italian).
Also really really good. The meatballs were so tasty - meaty and tangy and the pasta sauce was fantastic. Pasta was cooked right and the whole dish was prepared very well indeed. There's fresh tomato puree with the sauce that makes everything tasted really fresh and savoury and yummy.
We also ordered some veggies - Saltet Spinach Mediteran ($6.90) to share and didn't expect it to be uber small.
It was also VERY good, I think they used some kind of special salt for it, but kinda not worth the $6.90 price tag considering the portion. :x But it's good.
For dessert, no one can resist the Tiramisu! In fact we ordered two to share.
Scrumptious. One of the best tiramisu I've tasted in a very long time - creamy, chocolatey and cold and cake-y...yummy!
I think our experience there was really good. The staff was friendly and efficient and the atmosphere cozy. For the record, Sis reckons the food there was as good as authentic Italian cafes in Italy. She should know, cos she's been to Italy. So yeah, it was that good to her, and it was amazing to the rest of us poor schmucks who has never stepped a foot into Europe (except Mum).
Will definitely go back there with the gang! :D Although I think the price is a little steep considering the portions weren't very big. It fed us full enough but for a couple of my guy friends, it might just be too little.
La Contadina Cafe, Restaurant & Bar
168-170 Rathdowne Street
Phone: (03) 9347 6173