|the front of the restaurant - with tree|
We were seated out on the glassed-in terrace where tables are well-spaced so you don't feel cramped, and the chairs are a good height. (I don't know how many times I sit in cafés and restaurants feeling like a midget, head peering over the table.) We were brought sparkling water, which was replenished regularly. Service was polite and efficient without being effusive.
We started with a Coke for Mr P. and a glass of NV Belstar Prosecco from Italy for me. Nothing nicer than a glass of something cold and sparkly on a very hot day.
As we didn't want to get too full, we tried smaller amounts of different dishes. We shared a pane di casa with truffled butter, and a bruschetta con funghi - a bit of a mushroom fest you might say:=) These were just delightful, and this is me the non-bread fan saying this. The breads were soft and easy on the palate; no razor-sharp crusts, thank goodness. The mushrooms and goat's cheese were full of flavour, creamy, buttery and very moreish. As was the pane di casa, which held some of my fave tastes like the sweetly caramel garlic whip and smoked sea salt. It had a real punch of flavour, and I was glad we had asked for a smaller portion, as I would have kept eating it given the chance.
From the Primi Piatti menu, we chose calamari fritti and insalata caprese. One of the owners made sure we knew that the basil was green rather than purple as "purple wasn't good enough today." My calamari was tender and well-seasoned, if just the teensiest bit too salty for me. It came with a fennel, rocket and orange salad which was refreshing and well-dressed. Hubby loved his salad of tomatoes, basil and buffalo milk mozzarella. He said it was wonderfully fresh and well coated with the dressing, though we both found the dressing a wee bit bland. He also would have liked a few more basil leaves.
|tender and fragrant calamari|
|fresh and healthy salad|
And we kept eating ... We shared a small serve of fried gnocchi, garnished with fried sage leaves. It sat in a delicious puddle of pumpkin cream sauce, with some scattered goat's cheese. The gnocchi had a crusty coating and a soft, pillowy, potatoey inside. These were delicious, my friends. I don't think I've ever had gnocchi that tasted so much of potato (and we loved it), and it was amazingly good.
|fried gnocchi with pumpkin cream sauce|
|rigatoni with chicken in a tomato cream sauce|
Now I am not usually a big pasta fan, but the rigatoni suited me to a T. It was al dente, with lots of bite, which I adored. Mr P. likes his pasta a little less bitey, silly man. The chicken pieces were breast meat, tender and moist, nestled in the creamy tomato sauce, and finished off with parmesan shavings. I loved this dish! And I am also a woman who doesn't usually like tomato sauces, so there you have it. I have been seduced to the wild side here at Barolos.
|panna cotta with toasted coconut gelato|
I often try panna cotta just to be perverse 'cos I know it will be bad, and I want to see how bad. But if I'm really really lucky, it may be fabulous. And yes my friends this was super fabulous. The best panna cotta I've ever had. See those beautiful vanilla seeds, and the gorgeous gelato sitting on that beautiful plate? I know it's hard to see here, but it was a beautiful, swirly, rounded plate, showing off this amazing dessert. The panna cotta was sweet and wobbly, and the gelato gave it a wonderful counterpoint with its toasty bits of coconut.
By this time, hubby and I were full to the brim, and having to hare off to another appointment so we declined tea or coffee. We had enjoyed a really delicious lunch, and will definitely dine again soon with a couple of friends. So if you're after a beautifully-cooked meal with delicious flavours, in a calm and attractive setting, this is the place for you, my friends.
Pickings' Verdict: 9/10
They also have a beautiful function room at the back of the restaurant, apparently an old office space, now a very attractive room. I think you could have a fabulous time here with all your friends, making whoopee.
|looking back into the attractive restaurant from the terrace seating|
|red wine decanter|
I couldn't resist taking a pic of this beautifully rounded wine decanter. They have an extensive wine list here with many Italian offerings. A variety of cocktails are also on offer.
Thank you to Barolos for the kind hospitality. (But all opinions remain my own.)
P.S. Free 2 hour parking is available nearby, either on the street or across the road, and under the next door building.
Ph: 07 3371 5727
41 Sherwood Rd., Toowong 4066
Hours: 12-3pm; 6-11.30pm Mon-Sat