Saturday, December 05, 2009
Botticelli (Brighton) 12/09
On the recommendation of a friend of a friend we tried this suburban restaurant at 40A Church St. in the heartland of the Brighton set. It was an interesting experience which we are not likely to repeat.
Seating about 60, spilling out onto the footpath, the linen and butcher paper covered tables, decorated with a red rose and a scrappy candle,
were nearly all occupied by 7.00 pm and quite a few were refilled as they became free. One thing for sure they're certainly popular.
There is a fairly extensive menu with antipasti, pasta, which may be an entree or a main, risotto, veal, fish and steak with a large blackboard of specials.
We started with baked avocado and prawn with mournay ($15)
which was distinguished by great lumps of avocado, small prawns and a good covering of mournay sauce - gross but quite tasty. A linguini marinara in an oil base, ($25) which we took as a main and shared, had an insubstantial amount of sea food and swam in a watery soup. The mussels were tiny as were two pipis and two scallops and prawns small, not much more than shrimps. With less water and more sea food it could have been quite nice but it was insubstantial as a main course. Grilled flounder ($31) was very meaty, served with not very crisp chips and steamed vegetables cut in what I might best describe as domestic peasant style, a farmers meal. A medium rare rack of four very nice and tender lamb chops ($31)was well done resting on a substantial bed of a mixture of, I think pea and broccoli, surrounded by a small lake of gravy and covered with a herb crust. This came with a days worth of calories in the form of roast potatoes. Stuffed with food, and without great expectations, we forewent the desserts. Although fully licensed, wit a modest but reasonable wine list, they offer a very reasonable corkage of only $5 and I noticed many customers had taken advantage of that. I was not very surprised, when I asked our waitress if she knew who Botticelli was, to hear that she'd never heard of him! You can get a lot to eat here. Meals are not particularly expensive. They are presented with no finesse or aesthetic sensibility. A place to eat and leave rather than dwell over a meal for the evening.
Sandra was considerably more scathing about the food here. She found the baked avocado dish lacked taste and the linguini marinara failed, being in a soup rather than a sauce. It is also uncomfortable and noisy.
The question this now poses is, where do Melbourne's discriminating public go for a good casual meal?