I am passionate about food, cooking and ingredients. Currently in London, just back from eating my way around the world in one tasty adventure.Visit www.Mange-Two.blogspot.com for updates and inspiration.
Published May 25th 2012
The Eiffel Tower In Brisbane
Where in Brisbane,. Wait a minute, let me start over. Where in Australia can you relax with a glass of wine, authentic Italian food and have a view of the Eiffel Tower?
For those that know the local landmark it is an easy question. Park Road in Milton is home to La Dolce Vita, a small piece of Italy just outside the city centre of Brisbane. Right underneath the Eiffel Tower. Yep.
You would be forgiven for thinking that perhaps the Parisian theme of the surrounds would be an influence on the fare being served up in the restaurant below. But not a bit of it here, bar the French Toast of course.
The menu is a list of Italian favourites from when they open for breakfast with coffees and omelettes, to when they serve up the final pizzas and pastas of the day.
The décor looks dated but that sort of adds to its charm. With huge blue awnings covering the street, Italian soccer games on the television screen and the huge spectacle of a model Eiffel Tower glimmering neon light through the glass roof above, you would think you were anywhere but Brisbane.
My girlfriend and I ate there for dinner this week and luckily got in early as it got busy as the evening progressed.
Where's The Cheese?
We started with the mushroom bruschetta, and the grilled octopus. The octopus was some of the best I've tasted, simple and delicious. The bruschetta was tasty, the mushrooms bursting with flavour, but the asiago cheese mentioned in the description must have been on holiday as he was nowhere to be seen. More cheese please.
We skipped the traditional options of pizzas and pasta and headed for the Secondi Piatti. However our heads did snap round on a number of occasions as we eagle eyed the plates being brought out to the surrounding tables. The angel hair pasta with fish and bugs looked amazing.
I went for the baked rack of lamb with rosemary potatoes and red wine jus, and I was not disappointed. My partner went for the eye fillet with pepper, mustard, brandy sauce and I had steak envy all over again.
The wine list is reasonable, priced from $34 - $48 there is something for most pallets. We found the small print though and made the most of their bring-your-own wine policy for $2.50 per head for corkage.
After our delicious meal one of the friendly waiters dropped the dessert menu at our table. With the promise of them all being home made - how could we resist?
Sharing a portion of the caramel, macadamia and coconut pudding was a stroke of genius. Apparently people come from afar to visit La Dolce Vita for this dessert alone. I would have called it a cake personally, but what is a pudding between friends?
Thinking we were beaten, the waiters began clearing the table, only for us to spot a lone patron spooning dark chocolate mousse from a coffee cup. We inquired about the tempting treat and our waiter smiled knowingly and told us it was an Italian hot chocolate. He immediately headed back to the kitchen to prepare our final chocolate decadence. This was not like any hot chocolate I have ever had before, but I will make certain that I have it again. Smooth, rich and wicked. Just what we needed to finish the night on a high.
I would revisit La Dolce Vita based solely on any one of the courses we had there this week. The standard of food was fantastic and the staff did the restaurant proud. I can see why it got so busy now. Not the cheapest in town, but definitely worth the trip, even if it's just to stare at the Eiffel Tower looming above.