Ok ... I'm working my way through the pile of unfinished blogposts and I've decided to dispense with chronology entirely because ... well frankly the bitch is tired ... so like Tamar Iveri, you just need to suck it up ...
Anyhoo, its always a pleasure to review an eatery in the local hood, particularly one that has finally broken the run of less than satisfactory recent CBA Friday nights.
Covering a fair bit of frontage on Victoria Street, Seddon, Mozzarella Bar a recently opened Italian eatery is already in full patronage swing.
There are no design surprises as far as the fitout is concerned, although I feel that underneath all that wood veneer lurk the ghosts of neon, chrome and steel pasts.
Still, they do have the prettiest wood fired oven all covered in shiny milky blue tiles.
And I pray to the gods of intellect and sophistication that the accents promulgated by the friendly staff here are genuine as the alternative is a look too far into the abyss.
But lets turn our attention to the food, because at the end of the day, thats what we're here for.
The Pizzas coming out of the oven looked and smelt delicious, but as we were both not in pizza munching mode we approached the menu in the same way we did in Italy when we holidayed there last year - i.e. a Primi (shared), a Pasta (each but this time we weren't that hungry so we shared) and a Secondi (shared).
As a Primi we ordered the Gamberini ($14) described on the menu as "Crispy Freshwater Prawns, Spiced, Lemon Rocket & Chilli". There is something about the smell of charring prawn shell ... so wonderfully evocative of holidays by the sea ... or seafood at pre-developed Punggol, embedded clam shells in the dirt crunchy under your feet ... aah ....
But then there's something rather disheartening about Prawns that are overcooked or burnt ... much like the Winter's day outside the window waiting to nip at my extremities as soon as I step outdoors.
Mozzarella's offering is teetering on the burnt side. I had to brighten the photo above considerably and still you can see how brown and dark the shells are, instead of the enticing pinkey orange we're more accustomed to (crispy school prawns being the snack de jour at the mo!). Having said that, there was not a feeler or leg left on the plate by the time we were finished.
For our pasta we shared the Filei di Mamma ($18) - Pine Nuts, Pesto. This simple dish of Florentian styled pasta was simply wonderful. A definite highlight of the meal, and a dish I hope to return to on future visits. I think that with pasta, the simpler it is, the more satisfying. You should definitely check this one out when you go.
Our Secondi was equally impressive. We had the Agnello ($28) - Chargrill Lamb Cutlets, Roasted Potatoes, Red Pepper & Eggplant Caponata.
The lamb cutlets and potatoes were cooked perfectly. The potatoes tasted like they were cooked in a stew and then roasted to finish them off. Delicious! And the Caponata was well balanced and a perfect foil to the rich meat. Also another dish I would recommend and hope to have again sometime in the near future.
All in all, Mozzarella Bar is a welcome addition to the culinary pantheon of the West. Keep 'em coming world!