Ballina is a pretty town located on the mouth of the Richmond River. People are friendly; it has a nice, relaxing atmosphere; and just generally very chilled out. Without traffic, it is less than 2 hours from Brisbane so I would definitely visit Ballina again, even if it's just for the day.
La Cucina Vino was an Italian restaurant in Ballina highly recommended by the helpful staff at the bike rental shop, who raved about its food and service. So my husband and I pedalled to the restaurant to make a booking for 6.30pm.
So at 6.30pm, we rocked up to see the restaurant almost full, which was a good sign. We were seated outdoors, which was nice and cool and also quieter.
The menu offered the usual Italian dishes: pizzas, pastas, risottos as well as various mains. I really did wish I was hungry, but our day started with a big, hearty breakfast followed by a delicious lunch which included me devouring a whole flounder plus a plate of vegetables, so come dinner, I wasn't overly hungry. After umming and ahhing, I decided to go with the hot and cold seafood platter for one, my husband the pepperoni and olive pizza and the bruschetta to share.
The bruschetta was delicious, as was my seafood platter (which was huge, by the way), as was my husband's pizza. Everything was so fresh, flavoursome, and just delightful.
The waitress who looked after us was really friendly, patient and helpful. She didn't know what sort of hot and cold seafood my platter consisted, but was more than happy to find out from the chef. Also the fact that the restaurant was crazy busy and didn't effect their immaculate service and quality of food would be the reason why this place was so popular.
In short, we will be coming back and here's why:
Fresh, delectably flavoursome food
Friendly, efficient service despite their busyness