Sunday, January 21, 2007

January 19, 2007: Mario's

Simon spent Saturday afternoon browsing the Cheap Eats guide for some dinner inspiration. He was particularly keen on Italian, and Mario's was recommended both by Cheap Eats and by us. Mario's breakfast menu was fairly traditional, so the wide range of vegetarian entrees, pastas and mains was a surprising and welcome discovery. We shared the obligatory shared plate of garlic bread, and our readiness for dinner can be judged by the mysterious bite that appeared in the bread before the camera was ready.

Cindy opted for a light meal: the watercress salad with warm kipfler potatoes, brie, grapes, parmesan croutons and a hazlenut oil dressing. The combination of flavours and textures, from the soft, warm spuds to the sweet, crunchy grapes, was well received. The few bits of brie I managed to pinch were delicious as well. I think it would have left me hungry, but Cindy found the potatoes enough to fill her up after her share of the bread.

I wavered between the vegetarian shepherd's pie and some of the pastas, before finally settling on the orecchiette (I've just discovered orecchiette means 'little ears' in Italian, which describes the shape better than I was going to) with green pea puree, roasted pumpkin, flaked almonds, spinach and mascarpone cheese. It was tremendous - the pumpkins combining particularly well with the pea puree. It's unusual to find a pasta option on the menu that's particularly interesting or surprising, but this was both. And it was a substantial portion size to boot. Emma and Simon enjoyed their omnivorous meals as well and Mario's has now impressed me both at breakfast and dinner. Maybe it's time for a lunch trip next.

See details from our previous trip to Mario's here.

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