Thursday, November 26, 2009

Esposito at Toofey's

Name: Esposito at Toofey's
162 Elgin St
Carlton 3053 VIC

Phone: (03) 9347 9838

Food: Italian, ModOz, Seafood
Average price: Entree: $19-$26, Mains: $26-$39, Dessert: $5-$18

Complimentary: 4 pieces of sour dough bread with olive oil and salt.

The bread was fine, cold but spongy enough.

Salad of seaweed, mint, parsley, dill and mustard dressing.

This got our taste buds jumping out of their chairs in excitement. The herbs, seaweed, dressing and chilli offered a multitude of flavours and was fun to eat.

We ordered dinner(I had the $35 for two courses, $15 for an additional course deal:

Entree: Mud crab, avocado and green apple salad, young spinach and spinach essence - $26

Ryan was more than a little shocked at the petite size of this entree. The strongest flavour was the apple, which he also felt made it a little runny due to the juice. He ordered it in anticipation of savouring the crab and avocado, but as the apple washed everything in it's tartness, he was left disappointed. He also felt the stale bread chips were superfluous.

Roasted pumpkin gyoza, burnt butter and sage with red and yellow tear drop tomatoes - $19 (part of deal)

As soon as my fork sunk into the doughy pasta I felt myself deflate, after having been excited by the complimentary appetiser. The pasta was stretchy and gluggy gooey, I couldn't eat it. I scraped the sweet pumpkin puree out and that was tasty. I couldn't really taste the sage though, just the tomatoes and pumpkin. Had the pasta been cooked I probably would have really liked it.

Mains: Quail wrapped with pancetta, caramelised pear tart, raddichio, vincotto - $24

This was an entree that Ryan ate as his main coupled with a side dish to beef it up. He quite liked it. The quail was well cooked (although he was a little put off by its little arms) and he loved the tart and vincotto. He said he felt like something was missing that would elevate it from a good dish to a great dish.

Salmon, battered zucchini flower with ligurian olive paste (part of deal)

This, sadly, was boring. The olive was the only flavour that leapt out to me. The salmon was cooked well (to medium) and I think it was wrapped in seaweed although I couldn't taste it. The few components didn't really add anything.

Side: Potatoes - $9

Some of the potatoes were good, others were bland and not completely cooked inside.

Drinks: Orange juice - $5.50
Ryan raved about this and even asked what type of oranges they used (navel). It was much sweeter and smoother than any orange juice I have had, and I found it a little artificial tasting because of that.

Dessert: Hot date tart with frangipane and vanilla bean ice cream - $18 (part of deal)

I'd heard good things about this, and after waiting 1hour+ for it I was hoping it was worth the wait, it wasn't. Overall the tart was dry and the date left a weird feeling in my mouth. The ice cream was half melted when it was placed in front of me, as there was no other decoration that made it seem even more sad looking. I couldn't really taste the fragrant vanilla in the ice cream either, which just turned to water almost in my mouth.

Corella pear tart with custard and blood orange sorbet - $17

This was pretty horrible. The pears were still too firm and devoid of any other spicing or flavouring. They were swallowed up in the cold plain custard, also devoid of flavouring, the one at the supermarket poured from cardboard cartons had more depth. The crust was thin, and flavourless. The sorbet had flavour but was also quite melted when it came, it also didn't work with the cold tart at all.

Cost: $131.50 for two entrees, two mains, 1 side, 1 drink and two desserts.

Service: OK. At first we found the wait staff really friendly, easy going and great. The starter, entree and main came out in lightning speed within 30minutes of ordering, we were gobsmacked and very happy as we didn't want a long evening out. Unfortunately it went downhill from there. The restaurant became full, including an upstairs function, and our desserts that we pre-ordered with the rest of the food just over an hour to arrive. After the first 30minutes the waitress told us our desserts would be out soon, they still took another 30mins after that. We were offered a free drink after 45mins which we declined. In the end they offered us 2 complimentary desserts at our NEXT visit which was nice but the wait was just too long when compared the the quickness with which the first three dishes came out.

Atmosphere: Wonderful. As soon as we walked in we felt comfortable and relaxed despite the small room and a table so close to the door. The waiters made us feel at ease and were very friendly. The decor is a mixture of woods and mustard against white, it has the ease of a beach side estate without being too sea side. It does get very noisy though. One thing we
have to mention, there seems to be a certain ethnic majority out of the patrons, practically everyone in the restaurant, bar us and two people of Asian decent, all looked like Anglo-Saxon Aussies - absolutely everyone. And most were 30+, I can't describe it, but almost everyone looked the same, it was a little weird.

Parking: Ample street parking.


Hours: Mon-Fri noon-3pm, Mon-Sat 6pm-10pm

Would I return: No.

1 comment:

  1. We had a work Christmas lunch here in 2008. The meal was good, service was good. Nothing to rave about but Christmas functions are hard to judge.
    We are booked for dinner this week so I will keep you posted.
    Funny how "the experts" rave about the place but the bread-and-butter diners are left wanting.


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