Monday, July 28, 2008

tutto bene goodness

last saturday, i went to check out tutto bene. i'd read some good reviews, and since i haven't had risotto for a long time (ever), i figured it was worth a try.

to be honest, i don't normally eat italian. i have problems with eating a lot of carbs (i guess that explains my problems gaining weight in the gym), and so, i rarely make it at home.

so really, my recent foray into italian food can be attributed to toto's on lygon, where i had a very nice gnocchi, that changed my entire outlook on italian foods. now, it's gone from a misunderstood cousin, to a loved brother in law.

i'll stop rambling now, shall i?

we ended up making this starter ourselves for two reasons. firstly, we didn't want a heavy meal that was too full on, and secondly, we weren't sure how big the risottos were. we had been told that the servings were tiny and not very filling. we even had the backup plan of rockpool for burgers afterwards if we were still hungry.

from left to right:

Salsicce rosso - Spicy roasted capsicum infused
pork sausage, Baccala fritto - Crispy fried salted cod with fresh
vegetable giardiniera, Olive Ascolane - Traditional Marche region meat filled,
crumbed and fried green olives. the significant other doesn't like olives, so i only got one. i think the olives were a bit of a miss, but the sausage was worth getting. i would order it again in a heartbeat, as it was tender and juicy, and full of flavour.

on to the risottos:
Granchio con pomodoro e peperoncino - Blue swimmer crab with tomato and chilli

Al Presidente - A unique combination of 3 year old parmigiano and balsamic vinegar, produced from a 1912 mother must, created by our chef for the Italian President visiting Australia

Ruchetta selvatica con scaglie di parmigiano, olio e limone - Wild rocket with extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, lemon and parmigiano

Coppa di gelati misti- a selection from our artisan produced authentic Italian gelato (in this case mandarin, rum & raisin, and blackcurrant).

so i took these descriptions off the menu.

let's break it down:

the starters were ok, sausage was really good and highly recommended.

the salad (only i ate it), was quite good, the rocket giving a good hit. i've never really had rocket as i think it's a bit wanky, but this was nice and i would think about making this at home. this is what food should be about - good ingredients, served simply. having said that, there was a couple of brown leaves in the salad that should not have been there. also, at times there was just too much lemon juice on the leaves even after tossing them, and it made me grimace (which got a few laughs).

the swimmer crab risotto that my girlfriend had was very rich. it was very good, but oh so filling. she didn't finish it, it was so much.

the al presidente was great, which i expected. it was a little bit too rich, even though i finished it all. i'm a country boy at heart, and have to eat everything on my plate. i had a crack at the swimmer crab risotto afterwards, but it bested even me.

so i guess the rockpool burgers will have to wait until newt time!

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