Sunday, December 11, 2005

Mr Wolf: Restaurant Review

What's the time Mr Wolf? Like they've never heard that one before ....

An unexpected chance to go out for dinner had the Figman and I leaping hastily out of the house, ignoring the indignation of the small one in Winnie the Pooh pyjamas. I had been meandering up Gertrude Street earlier in the day and had been taken with the idea of dining at Ladro, but such a popular spot could only fit us in at the window bar and even then, only "if you rock up as soon as we open, around six". Figster could not be bothered with this kind of carryon ("If we go there, we go properly") and I cast my mind around for something similiar - casual, pizza, but a bit different. And so, I picked up the phone and rang Mr Wolf (no, not that one). Maybe at the bar, maybe they could do it later ... oh actually, a table at 8.30. Someone's cancelled.

I was surprised to arrive at this restaurant in the seedy side of St Kilda, to find the place half empty. The bar next door was jumping but the restaurant was eerily quiet for a Saturday night. We were seated and served quickly, but I was still puzzled at the lack of atmosphere in a popular pizzeria at this time. The specials sounded good and we mostly ordered from these: salt cod balls, radicchio and tomato salad, potato pizza with pippis. The only item from the regular menu we ordered was the Funghi pizza - roast garlic paste on the base and a scattering of mixed mushrooms. The aroma from this was amazing as it hit the table - you could smell it coming three steps away, but the taste didn't quite follow through. The advertised roast garlic paste was indiscernible and another salty ingredient would have rounded it out properly - anchovies or a mild but salty cheese. We had the salt cod balls to start but they were so so - so much so that I let Figman eat five of the six.

Bizarre to say, but the side salad was a star. I quizzed the waiter on it (as I was surprised to find a salad amongst the specials) but he just said "that's what Chef's decided we'll have for the next two weeks". Chopped radicchio. Flavoursome tomato (hard to come by at this time of year). Perfectly dressed. Simple, but beautiful. Our wine was a German riesling, by the glass. Figman said "thank goodness you're getting over that sauvignon blanc thing" and sipping this stunning riesling, I had to agree. The best of the night was the pippi pizza. The potatos could have done with another minute or so but the garlicky seafood and potato on a crisp thin base was just scrumptious.

Too full for dessert, but we managed to walk down to the St Kilda pier and by that time of course I was ready for gelato. There's a new little gelato place right down the bottom of Fitzroy street and it was packed out. It wasn't even close to the best gelato I've ever eaten, but the beach, summery night and ice cream - how can you go wrong?

4 Comments:

At 10:59 AM, Blogger Ed Charles said...

We live round the corner and prefer the bustle of the Mr Wolf bar next door where you can eat the same food in a more relaxed atmosphere. Next time try Acland St for icecream. It's a toss between Trampoline and 7 Apples. Both are excellent.

 
At 4:10 AM, Blogger cin said...

And have you seen Lygon Street recently? There are about 7 geleto places now - seriously! I think a few of the new ones opened within 1 - 2 weeks of each other (including Gelattisimo) and they look like they are worth trying.

 
At 8:54 PM, Blogger plum said...

Hi Ed - I've eaten a lot of Trampoline ice cream recently so I think I'll have to give 7 Apples a go!

Hi Cin - I haven't been on Lygon for a while but am always keen for good gelato. There's a list of five in today's (Saturday) Age which I am going to pin to my fridge!

 
At 1:46 PM, Anonymous mr wolf said...

Moving in Florence to study abroad? mr wolf handle the details! We will offer you all the assistance you need to transition your new life in Florence housing, school, visa, insurances, night-life, restaurant, bar, cafe',...

 

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