Saturday, 11 September 2010

Restaurant Review: Eno Pizzeria, Neutral Bay

Despite lots of good reviews I've never been out for dinner in Neutral Bay. With Sydney's dreadful public transport I assumed it would be almost impossible to get to the North Shore of an evening. How wrong could I be? A direct bus from World Square whisked me straight to meet Brad and Chel for dinner at Eno Pizzeria.

We were amongst the first diners of the evening to arrive, but even when almost empty the restaurant conveys a classy atmosphere with racks of wine around the walls, dark wooden tables and marble counter tops.

Just after we ordered I decided to visit the bathroom and it was the L-O-N-G-E-S-T walk to a restaurant toilet I've ever seen. Out of the front door, down the side of the restaurant, re-enter via a door behind the kitchen and then through a labyrinth of doors and corridors until you eventually reach the bathrooms. Fifteen minutes later I was back at the table, at least they were good toilets.

Conscious of the impending marathon I decided to order the homemade fettuccine with veal and porcini ragu ($26). The pasta was silky and the veal just melted in your mouth. The porcini mushrooms added a great depth of flavour to the ragu which was very rich.

Brad and Chel both had a pizza which they generously let me taste. My favourite of which was the Ciabatta ($23) ordered by Brad. An oval shaped base which had been cooked 'naked' and was then topped with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, anchovies and basil. It was the first time I've seen a pizza where none of the ingredients have been cooked, however, it worked because they were all so good. I often think tomatoes in Australia are tasteless, but these were flavoursome.

For dessert Brad and I both chose the Tiramisu ($14). Tiramisu is omnipresent on Italian menus, almost universally a disappointment and therefore something I rarely order and more. Thankfully this was a good Tiramisu. The mascapone cream was very smooth and rich, while the biscuits had been generously soaked in coffee and laced with booze. Brad and I both had to have a couple of 'pauses' as we ate to dessert to ensure we could finish it. We weren't going to let the richness beat us!

 Chel opted for the Pistachio Tart ($15) for dessert. Ground pistachios had been mixed with almond meal to create a light tart with a more subtle pistachio flavour than I was expecting. It was also refreshingly moist.

By the time we left the restaurant it was full and had a pleasant and relaxing atmosphere. Several families with, well behaved, young children had arrived. It  made me realise it's not often that I see families out dining in Sydney.

Eno Pizzareria has got the all round combination of food, service and atmosphere almost spot on. I'm tempted to say it was a bit expensive, but while Gigis (pizza) or Bar Zini (pasta) might come close on the food, they don't deliver the overall package. This probably means Eno justifies the price.

Enopizzeria on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. Oi! You came my way without telling me!? ;-) I still haven't tried this place even though I live so near by. Looks good though!