Sunday, April 24, 2011

Il Baretto + Bourke St Bakery

Happy Easter everyone! Most would be using Easter as an excuse to consume copious amounts of chocolate, however for me the last week leading up to the long weekend has been just an eating fest. No easter eggs though (I've been good!). Between the food posts I've made here, there's also been the all-you-can-eat Ribs feast at Tomy Roma's, a trip to Cafe-ish for more girly catch ups, Bavarian Bier cafe for a wonderful work event (long lunches are the best!) and now I'm really regretting all this eating.

I don't have any photos from the above places, but last week I did make a trip to Il Baretto, an Italian eatery which gets rave reviews for hearty and homely traditional fare.
Handwritten Menu - excuse the grainy photo from my iphone

I was impressed with the sizes of the dishes - they were quite literally huge. We tried our best to get through them by sharing and eating slowly, but we gave up. We ordered a range including their specialty Duck Ragu and Gnocchi with arabbiata sauce, and while everything we tried was tasty and decently priced, I was slightly disappointed. Perhaps it was because I'd heard rave reviews from friends who's food views I always agree with, or maybe it was because we didn't order the right things, but I definitely didn't think it was 'wow'. I think I'll give it a second go and try dinner which I've heard is better!

Duck ragu in the front and spaghetti piccanti
The ragu was saucy and full of flavour which was perfect for the rainy weather (it literally rained all day!) and the duck was succulent but this was heavier than I would have liked. The Spaghetti piccanti in the background was a simple dish with an olive oil based drizzle with breadcrumbs mixed in. I quite liked this actually, as it was crunchy and fresh, though a bit of meat (bacon bits perhaps?) or some fresh vegetables added in would have made it more interesting.
Gnocchi arabbiata
They seem to be good at punchy flavoursome dishes, as the Gnocchi was full of garlic and as you can tell was an absolutely huge serving. The gnocchi was smooth (not gluey, which is always important) but I would've liked it to be a better balance with the tomato based sauce, not just full of burn-in-your-mouth garlic.

After that we went to book kitchen for an afternoon coffee, and of course made a trip via Bourke St Bakery for some take-home goodies. I quite like their chocolate tart, though it will never compare to the fantastic Tarte Chocolat Noir (dark chocolate tart) I had at Gerard Mulot in Paris which is literally the best chocolate tart I've ever had in my life.
Gerard Mulot Paris and the famous chocolate tart

In any case, we went home with a vanilla strawberry delicacy and a chocolate tart for more indulgence later that day - so I suppose that counts as my chocolate egg substitute?

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