One of my treasured family experiences is mealtimes, particularly those eaten out when the stress of cooking is taken away. I can’t be described as an Italian mamma who loves to slave over a stove for hours and hours every day. Italian food is a favourite cuisine in our household, not just because we have lived in Italy. Italian food is loved by all my family members.
When we had a meal out with my parents whilst in Sydney, the natural choice appeared to be an Italian restaurant.
As we walked in, we were greeted by the owner/ chef and his wife along with Italian music in the background. It felt like being transported to the dining room of an Italian, with the light lace curtains. All around the room there were shelves that were fully stocked with Italian red wine.
The restaurant owners were due to go on holiday the following day, which meant that we had free reign over the antipasto platter, which I thought was rather generous. With the typically Italian offering of melon and prosciutto, that was a definite one to start with as well as grilled aubergine slices and sundried tomatoes. Now I am not an oyster fan, but this ended up being a choice for all of the other adults in the party.
The natural pasta choice for my daughter was penne with ragù. Whatever Italian restaurant or trattoria we go to, this is her signature choice.
I, on the other hand, was feeling adventurous and went for a pasta salmon dish, which unusually was done in a tomato sauce. Supposedly home-made pasta, the only let down was that at least one of the tagliatelle was not cooked properly and was hard to bite through – rather not al dente.
Then it was time to choose dessert. My son always picks tiramisu. He can plough through a dish in record time. I would have to say that my frozen dessert was a bit of a failure. I was also surprised to learn that the dessert was imported from Italy. Totally unnecessary I would have thought for an Italian restaurant in suburban Sydney.
It was a really pleasant family meal. In the end there were only a few elements that made it less than perfect, but then again, who wants a perfect dinner?
There is plenty of parking to the rear of the restaurant. I would also state quite happily that family dining is possible as my children were made to feel welcome.