It always surprises me when someone asks me if I like any other cuisine. Of course, I do. It would be silly to have this opportunity to live in a country like Australia and stick to just one kind of cuisine that you love. And if there is any other food that rocks my boat after my own desi Indian food, it has to be Italian cuisine.
If you are ever sitting on the fence after eating the stodgy piece of dough called a Pizza that is covered in Tomato sauce from a jar, something that looks like Cheese, topped up with million ingredients or dried pasta that is overcooked and drowning in a white sauce, do me a favour and go to a Italian restaurant run by Italians and see how quickly you change your mind about it.
Maybe it is the way Italians are so passionate about their food.
The way they talk about it, cook it using the freshest of ingredients, the different kinds of Cheese, generous use of Tomatoes, fragrant Olive oil, their wines, coffee, desserts and the love with which they prepare their food is not just endearing but also something that you feel an instant connection with. And just like India the Italian cuisine changes in every region that you go to. The food you will in Tuscany will be completely different than the food in Sicily and so on, which is seriously amazing.
So, when I was asked to visit Pizzeria adaalfredo , I jumped at the opportunity to eat authentic Italian food. Because it is not every day, a girl gets to eat a real pizza straight out of the oven to her table. The restaurant is located in the lovely suburb of Glebe, and I was amazed how busy it was on a weekday, and as the evening turned into night, it just got progressively busy. Having said that everyone we saw just looked happy and carried their trademark Italian charm, from hand gesturing to the energetic greeting, it was just the place to be for the evening.
I found myself standing near the oven transfixed watching the owner making roll out Pizzas one after the other. The large oven devouring the uncooked Pizzas and sprouting the freshly baked Pizzas one after the other. The smell of the cooked dough and the sauce and the cheese was truly intoxicating.
Nino, the very charming manager just took us under his wing and decided to treat us to his favorite dishes from the menu. And from what I know about passionate foodies is when they choose to take control of your meal, you just have to let them and we were glad we did. Since it was a really hot summers evening we started with chilled Limonata and Chinotto, the Italian version of Lemony soda soft drinks they were refreshing and surely vetted our appetite for more.
For the starters we had a trio of:
Gamberoni Alla Brace which were really big grilled prawns cooked lightly in Olive Oil with Salt & Pepper. Then there were Mussels cooked in Tomato Sauce and finally for the vegetarian in house there was Parmigiana Di Melanzane which was Eggplant layered w Mozzarella Parmesan, Basil & Neapolitan sauce. The husband really enjoyed the juicy prawns and the Mussels which he said tasted like the Sea. And as far as the Eggplant Parmigiana was concerned, it was one of the best I have ever had. The Eggplant was grilled perfectly and the cheese just made it more sinful than it was. I was almost full after having it.
Thankfully there was a break in between having the starters and the main course, which we were grateful for. For the mains we had :
Margherita Pizza which was perfectly baked with San Marzano Tomato Buffalo Mozzarella Parmesan Basil Olive Oil. The pizza was really light and delicious and once again reinstated my belief that real Pizza has to be eaten at a real Italian restaurant because only then can you appreciate what it tastes like.
The next thing we had was “Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina” which was homemade Potato Gnocchi in a soupy Tomato & Mozzarella sauce topped with really and I mean really fresh Mozzarella and Parmigiano–Reggiano Cheese. The tangy Tomato, the fresh Cheese and the soft Gnooci was so delightfully delicious that we couldn’t help but finish the whole bowl even though we were full.
Finally, despite our groans and please that we couldn’t eat anymore for dessert we were served:
Pannacotta which was Sweetened cream which was thickened with gelatin and aromatized with Raspberry compote and the Italian classic Tiramisu which is the husband’s absolute favourite. Italian Biscuits perfectly infused with Coffee and layered with soft Mascarpone Cheese, and topped with Cocoa & grated Chocolate. Sadly I couldn’t get decent pictures as the light was really bad and while I didn’t care too much for the Pannacotta the husband quickly finished the Tiramisu which he said was really delicious. I would not have believed him if I had not seen him licking the glass in which it was served.
We left with our hearts and tummies full. The food was freshly made and the hospitality was charming and warm. Definitely worth a trip to Glebe.