One of my favourite Italian phrases is mi dispiace, which means I’m sorry. I like the way the word sounds and there are no R’s in it. As I have mentioned before I can’t roll my R’s despite my friend Fran’s coaching session back when we were 13. I can’t even say my name properly in Italian. Today I was again risking my reputation and chose a new Italian restaurant for Fran and I to try. Remember how I passed with flying colours with La Lola (see Treat 32: Lola you have me on my knees). I was curious to try L’Enoteca in Victoria Park for its menu was bursting with fresh pasta offerings and small plate favourites like arancini and meatballs. After being half an hour late (mi dispiace Fran) due to traffic on the causeway caused by a booze bus we were starving. The restaurant is modern with great attention to detail from the tables to the lighting fixtures. The owners did not skimp on the fit out. The beautiful chandelier towards the back of the restaurant did catch our eye as did the extensive wine rack. The wine list is mainly Italian and Fran recommend a lovely white from Abruzzo, which was nice and light working well with our heavier meals. Now to the food. For appetisers we ordered arancini with Bolognese and a caprese salad. The arancini had a golden cheesy centre and was a standout for the night. One serving is three arancini balls, which was perfect for our table of three. The caprese salad unfortunately was stingy on bocconcini and disappointed. It was really a tomato salad with a mixture of cherry and roma tomatoes. The basil and bocconcini was like a distant relative, hardly seen. Fresh bread for $6 made me squirm in my seat. That wouldn’t even cost a loaf at the bakery but we were so hungry the carbs were required. If only we knew how big the mains were we might not have wasted money on bread. I was tossing up between my usual crab pasta and a pappardelle with duck ragu. I went for the latter. Fran enjoyed her beef cheek ravioli and was impressed with the quantity of meat in each piece. Kristen wasn’t too impressed with the crab and prawn linguini. She said it could have had more flavour. The pappardelle with duck ragu was very filling. I barely made a dent in it. I think I got too excited with the appetisers. Next time I order a main here I would bring a share buddy. However, I think the mains at L’Enoteca lacked the finesse of La Lola (see Treat 32 ). I think my pappardelle was slightly overcooked as it didn’t have the al dente bite. As the restaurant is still new I would not be opposed to trying it again. It definitely is roomier than La Lola and I would love to go back for the arancini and a glass of Chianti. I must have a thing for pappardelle with ragu because I also ordered this dish at Lalla Rookh, another new bar and restaurant on the St Georges Terrace strip. It’s become an unofficial search for the best pappardelle in Perth. Watch this space to find out the winner.
THE FOOD JOURNEY