Friday, February 28, 2014

Valentines Day Sapore (St.Kilda) 02/2014

The most impressive thing about dinners on festive occassions is usually the bill and for $130 a head I did not have great expectations for Valentines Day.
Whilst no one was sitting at the bar the place was packed.

A couple of tables had cloths 
while the rest were bare. The explanation was that the clothed tables had poor surfaces!!

On arrival we were presented with a glass of NV Pol Roger 'Brut' which was excellent..
The four course menu consisted of a choice of one of three of entrees, a Pasta course, main course and desert. Sandra chose Salt-and-pepper calamari with a salad of bitter leaves lemon vinaigrette and aioli. 

Whilst I had the grilled New Zealand scampi marinated with chilli, lemon and parsley shaved fennel and radish salad. We left the heirloom tomato salad, goat's curd and chive mousse, green olive tapenade, pangrattato and basil to the vegetarians. 
These were two pleasant entrees, well seasoned and tasty.The chilli in the scampi marinade was so mild as to barely noticeable. This was also a very tiny serve. 

We sampled two pasta dishes. Baked canestrone (pasta shells), filled with ricotta and lemon, slow braised veal ragu was particularly pleasing 

while the spaghetti with clams, garlic, chilli, white wine and parsley was pleasant enough it was a bit ordinary, again the chilli was barely noticable.

For my main dish I had the 200 g fillet, served medium rare, roasted kipfler potato, horseradish and caramelised onion, red wine sauce. I requested that the steak be served black and blue that is just seared and indeed they did as I requested most unusual situation. It was an extremely good dish. Every element was prepared exactly as I like it. The red wine sauce had not been over reduced, the meat was a little tough but enjoyable and the accompaniments as good as could be.
The crisp skinned Cone Bay barramundi with a grilled king prawn, blue swimmer crab bisque and the broccolini was another very good dish. The fish, a good size fillet, was cooked perfectly the skin crisp and the flesh moist and succulent.

 Deserts were not particularly impressive. 
Tiramisu the Lucchesi family recipe, was overly soaked in alcohol and we ended up leaving half of it.
The Limoncello semi-freddo with strawberry and prosecco sabayon and honeycomb was better that still nothing to write home about.

 The best choice was dark chocolate and amarena cherry 'tart' with kirsch custard. Rich an moorish.
The tariff, $130 per person was a bit expensive, but I guess that was what the market would bear. They were very obliging about me being nearly an hour late and, although they had two sittings and a queue out the door, they did not hurry us out.
Of all the big occasion meals that we had recently, despite its deficiencies, this was probably the best.

Score:14.25 /20

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