Saturday, 14 September 2013

Taste Test - L'Enoteca

Tonight was my monthly catch up dinner with DT.  I chose L'Enoteca for our catch up dinner because I've been wanting to go for a while and the reviews on Urbanspoon were mostly positive.

I managed to book a table for the two of us on a Saturday night and was given the option of 5:30pm or 8:30pm; I chose 5:30pm and was informed that we had to vacate the table at 7:30pm, which was fine.  I prefer that they tell me at the time of booking rather than when I arrive at the restaurant (which has occurred before at other places!). 


L'Enoteca is situated at the quieter end of Albany Highway which makes finding parking a breeze.  At 5:30pm, it was empty except for a couple who probably arrived a few minutes before us.  We were lead to the back section of the restaurant with the beautiful chandelier, fireplace, leather armchair and Mona Lisa hanging on the wall.

DT and I were starving as we both had not eaten since 11am that morning so decided that we'll order 3 entrées to share and a main each. 

Our order
Entrees
  • Arancini funghi $9
  • Marinated octopus $12
  • Lamb cutlets with salsa verde and red onion jam $12.50

Mains
  • Duck risotto, porcini mushroom and spinach $35
  • Handmade potato gnocchi with a creamy dolce gorgonzola & pistachio sauce, topped with parmigiano reggiano $25

Dessert
  • Panna cotta served with balsamic strawberries marinated in a 4yo aged Vincotto (cooked wine) $15
  • Tiramisu $15

We chatted away while we waited for our food.

Food and presentation - 3.5/5
Our entrées arrived pretty quickly which was good because we were starving.  The arancini balls were nice but both DT and I have had better arancini balls elsewhere.  The marinated octopus was well balanced, it wasn't too sour from the vinegar and the octopus was nice and tender.  DT and I both agreed that the lamb cutlets were perfectly cooked and the salsa verde and red onion jam was really yummy. 
Arancini funghi $9
Marinated octopus $12
Lamb cutlets with salsa verde and red onion jam $12.50
Our mains unfortunately were a different story.  After some really good entrées we had expectations and those expectations were not met.  DT's risotto was slightly undercooked so it was a bit hard to digest, the duck that accompanied however was nicely cooked.  If you haven't noticed, I have a soft spot for gnocchi.  If it's on a menu, 90% of the time I will order it unless I know it won't be good.  This was one of those times where I shouldn't have ordered the gnocchi.  Whilst the risotto was slightly undercooked, my gnocchi was slightly overcooked so that it was a bit mushy.  It wasn't a nice texture and I don't think the potato to flour ratio was right either.  The gorgonzola sauce was overpowering and way too creamy, it was actually a bit sickening.  Both DT and I couldn't finish our mains.
Duck risotto $35

Handmade potato gnocchi $25
After our mains, we decided to have dessert because we can.  DT wanted to try the panna cotta and I, the tiramisu.  Apart from gnocchi, I am always on the prowl for the best tiramisu but alas the best tiramisu I've had still resides in Italy.  The tiramisu at L'Enoteca was just okay and was a decent serving.  DT liked her panna cotta but again it wasn't anything special.
Panna cotta $15
Tiramisu $15
Service - 2.5/5
The service at L'Enoteca was good until we got a different waitress who was trying to rush us out the door.  I was informed when I booked the table that we had to leave by 7:30pm which was fine, but to actually make a point of getting us out, I thought, was a bit rude.  We were reminded at 6:50pm and then 5 minutes later that we had to leave by 7:30pm and asked whether we wanted dessert.  We ordered our dessert and of course they arrived super fast and also cleared away super fast.  We were asked to pay and leave at 7:22pm.  Not very impressed especially since there wasn't anyone waiting for tables.  Most decent restaurants only remind and/or ask you to leave only if you're still sitting there with no plans to leave at the specified time.  

Atmosphere - 3.5/5
I liked the decor at L'Enoteca especially the decor in the section we were sitting, it was fairly sophisticated.  I found it a bit dark in L'Enoteca and I have issues with restaurants that are too dark because you can't clearly see what you are eating and because I need to take photos.

Value for money - 2.5/5
I don't think it was worth the price for what you get.

Wouldn't mind going back again but not rushing back.

Taste Test Total Score 12/20

L'Enoteca on Urbanspoon