Monday, June 01, 2009

Pitchfork (Elsternwick) 09

We came across this restaurant at 476 Glenhuntly Rd (Ph. 9528 5788) by accident last week and had a very pleasant evening. Set in a long room with a pleasant gas fire in the middle

and lit by slightly pretentious chandeliers the bustling friendly waiters convey a warm and welcoming atmosphere. The menu is International with Italian, French, Russian and North African elements. I indulged myself with an entree of fried lamb brains with a spinach and cheese pastry ($12)

which was a cut above what my mother used to give us 100 years ago. Sandra loved her house made gnocchi tossed with roasted pumpkin, red capsicum, spinach and bocconcini in a creamy garlic sauce ($14).A few thin slices of Turkish bread, toasted presented with olive oil, balsamic AND butter and olives ($3) was very nice too. For mains I had the osso bucco,

slow cooked veal on a Milanese risotto. ($26) The veal was great but the risotto lacked texture and flavour. The 300G grain fed porterhouse beer battered euro frittes garden salad and red wine sauce. ($32 though only $30 on the menu)

was initially served plonked on top of the frittes. They took them back and served them in a separate dish to keep them crisp. There was no evidence of the advertised beer batter.
The steak was cooked more than requested despite the usual assurances that it would be as ordered. Sometimes we return sometimes we don't. It was a pretty chewy piece of meat but we kept it this time. a dessert of self saucing chocolate pudding with vanilla ice cream ($12 on the menu but they charged us $10!)

was good value. Wines are very cheap. We scoffed Henkell Piccolo NV 200 ml at $6.50. there is a reasonable range by the glass of almost exclusively Australian wines. If you want anything special a $5 corkage fee is ore than fair. They have a lot of interesting dishes and despite their evident weaknesses the overall experience was good enough for us to want to give them another try.

Score: 13.25/20

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