MONTE FIORE, Mt Lawley
by JENNY D’ANGER:
MONTE FIORE in Mt Lawley deserves “mountains of flowers” for its delicious Italian cuisine.
It was the quirky flower and bird motif (no mountains though) of the restaurant’s sign that caught my eye as a potential spot for lunch.
Once seated my lunch companion and I debated whether the old building with its massive timber beams holding up the soaring ceiling, and the art deco stained glass windows, was once the foyer of a cinema.
But it appears it was a frock shop, back in the days of haberdashery, frocks and petticoats, our helpful waiter said.
Monte Fiore serves up good, old-style Italian Australian food with plenty of modern twists, including a new take on anti-pasta, with a share plate of grilled Spanish chorizo, arancini cheese balls, smoked salmon crepes, prosciutto, Turkish bread and homemade dip ($28).
For those wanting something light for lunch there are simple choices such as a variety of burgers ($16.50) or bruschetta ($14).
But I was in a pasta mood, so having sadly set aside the delicious sounding pumpkin risotto ($26) opted for the quattro stagiono ($25).
The aroma of pine nuts and basil rose from the steaming dish of vegetarian pasta, its siren song making my mouth water.
With plenty of sundried tomatoes, roasted pumpkin, capsicum and a liberal lacing of olives, and doused in the oily pesto dressing, it was superb.
My lunch-mate ordered a half serve of garlic prawns ($18), with a choice of either a cream sauce, or the more traditional oil, which she chose along with a serve of toasted Turkish bread to mop up with ($5).
It certainly was a very generous half, with eight large, succulent prawns in a wonderfully garlicky oil, and a side serve of salad.
We were going to pass on dessert but succumbed to the lure of a couple of panna cottas ($10.90).
This classic Italian dessert is nothing like its English boarding school counterpart, blancmange (fittingly, a synonym for bland and unimaginative).
Made by simmering cream, milk and sugar, the creamy sweetness of the panna cottas beautifully contrasted with the sharpness of the blackberries topping them.
And when Pat couldn’t finish hers I was only too happy to help.
Replete, we staggered out to do battle with pre-peak hour traffic. Where does the time go when you’re having an enjoyable meal?
by JENNY D’ANGER
628 Beaufort Street, Mt Lawley
open 7 days 11am till late