It’s not every day you have the chance to sit down to a decadent three course meal, and a birthday is a very good chance to do so! E’s sister S celebrated a milestone birthday a few weeks back so obviously we had to celebrate in style, and Casa Del Amici provided the goods.
The restaurant is quite simple, but the gorgeous Italian music floating through the spacious room added to the simplistic elegant vibe and as soon as we sat down I knew we were in for an experience as our waiter was a brilliant comedian of a man, and made the afternoon just that little bit more special. Wine flowing we scanned the menu, deciding on a few entrees to share – because you’ve got to try everything, right?
The first entree to grace the table was the Arincini Of The Day ($14.50). The three generous arincini smothered in a rich tomato sauce and sprinkled with fresh parmesan did not last very long amongst this hungry bunch. When cutting them open cheese oozed over the plate and the rice was soft and flavoursome. The Calamari ($19.50) was up next and it was melt in your mouth soft. No chewiness to be seen. Lightly battered and served with house made tartare sauce and lemon even the non-seafood fans were impressed with the simple dish. Our final starter was the Bruschetta ($12.50) and featured a mixture of fresh tomato, onion, garlic and herbs on perfectly toasted bread. The balsamic glaze drizzled over the dish was the perfect accompaniment.
Deciding on our mains saw the table spend a lot of time contemplating, particularly S who is pregnant and just loves food right now so she was very indecisive. When our waiter realised how much trouble she was having deciding between two dishes he stepped in and decided because A. it was her birthday and B. she was carrying “bumbino” that he’d bring her both dishes in smaller versions so she could taste both. Lucky lady! The first of her two dishes was the Pancetta Di Maiale Croccante ($34.50) or pork belly. Served with seasonal greens, mash and plum sauce the kitchen took extra care preparing the dish to make sure it was perfectly cooked as no one wanted to upset the new baby cooking in her belly. S was in heaven and demolished the crispy skinned dish. Her second main was the Spaghetti Marinara ($27.50) sporting plump fresh prawns and mussels, a rich tomato sauce and loads of chilli. I will admit she didn’t manage to consume both dishes but was kindly given a take away lunch box to take home. E has become a huge risotto fan as of late so she couldn’t go past the Risotto Funghi ($26.50). As you may know by now she is not a mushroom fan, but the dish must have been good because not one mushy was left on her plate. I tossed up between a few dishes, but finally decided on the Prawn and Bug Spaghetti ($29.50). I’ve been dying to try bug meat since it was splashed all over the TV on Masterchef and My Kitchen Rules, and now I know what they were raving about. The flesh was so soft and tasty, and went beautifully with the pesto and cognac sauce. The prawns were juicy and tender, bringing the entire dish together. Heavenly.
What is a birthday lunch without dessert? The birthday girl herself couldn’t fit it in but myself and two other party-goers couldn’t pass up the house made Berry Pannacotta ($10.50) with ice cream. The dessert was luxe. Creamy, smooth and not too sweet, the berries added a zing to the stunning dish. A, B and I were very impressed and really didn’t want to share with our friends, sorry guys! We left very full, very happy and needing a much need nap. Food coma! What is wrong with a little decadence every now and then? Nothing!
What is your favourite Italian dish?