Last week we were invited by Zomato and Vivace Restaurant for an exclusive Zomato foodie meet up and Winter warming Italian Feast! It was an intimate four course dinner by Head Chef Davide Ferraro and was set up in a lovely private dining room near the back of the restaurant. In addition, there were matching wines from Hancock & Hancock, Barone Ricasoli, Italy’s oldest winery, to compliment each dish. We were fortunate to have the Head Chef talk us through each dish, and a representative to also talk us through each wine. We were super excited about trying out the food and wine but more importantly, to meet other food bloggers!
Upon arrival, we were greeted with a glass of Prosecco, Italian sparkling wine which was very nice and crisp. We introduced each other to the other foodies and then of course like the others started snapping some photos. The beauty of this night was that there was no shame in taking as many photos as we wanted because everyone including the Zomato staff were snapping away with their cameras! It was the best!
After all the introductions and photos we sat down and was served with an Antiplasti platter which included natural oysters, prosciutto and arancini. I love oysters and these were super fresh so I gobbled a couple of them up fairly quickly! The prosciutto was lovely, soft and wasn’t too salty and the arancini balls were full of flavour.
With the entree, main and dessert we were given a few options to pick from so Davin and I made sure we ordered different dishes so we could try more. For entree I ordered the pumpkin, goat’s cheese and potato croquettes with crushed amaretti, beetroot, capers and raisin. The sweetness of the fresh beetroot and raisin balanced out the croquettes beautifully. Davin ordered the caramelised scallops with cauliflower, chorizo, shallots, fennel and coriander. The scallops were cooked to perfection! The matching wine with the entrees was a 2016 Hancock & Hancock Fiano McLaren Vale, SA.
We all got a pasta dish as part of the set menu which were pasta parcels filled with potato and leek, truffle and blue cheese sauce – all the things I love! Unlucky for those that may not like blue cheese but it was heaven for me. The portion was also very generous. The matching wine with this was the 2016 Hancock & Hancock Grenache Rose McLaren, SA. By the way, the staff were incredible and they were SO generous with the wine. They just kept pouring and pouring. I had to ask them to ease up at this point as I knew there were still a couple of more wines to try!
For mains I got the Murray Valley 12 hour slow cooked, crisp pork belly. This was accompanied with rhubarb, apple, onion and ginger relish, thyme roasted squash and white balsamic sauce. The pork had the nice crispy skin that you would look out for and the sweetness of the rhubarb and onion and ginger relish balanced it out really well. I also liked the touch of the roasted squash. My matching wine was the 2014 Hancock & Hancock Shiraz Grenache McLaren Vale, SA.
Davin ordered the roast lamb loin with pistachio brioche crust, smoked eggplant, asparagus and sweet bread. He also really enjoyed his dish and his matching wine was the 2014 Hancock & Hancock Cabernet Touriga McLaren Vale, SA. Both of the red wines were nice but I have to say the Shiraz was the winner out of the two.
I have to say that by the time mains reached us I was already kind of full because of the generous portions (and pouring!) so I was definitely over capacity when it reached dessert, but who can say no to dessert?
I ordered the dark Belgian chocolate fondant with fig, mascapone and honey gelato. The chocolate fondant was sooo good and oozed with warm, sticky chocolate lava when you broke into it with your spoon. Combined with the honey gelato it was delicious! Davin got the Panna cotta which came with white chocolate and vanilla, fresh strawberries, balsamic and pistachio praline. I could only manage a spoonful to try this but it was also yummy and the panna cotta had a nice wobble to it. The matching wine that came with our dessert was the 2009 Craigmore Botrytis Mudgee, NSW. Because I was so full and sweetened out I could only manage a sip!
Overall the food and wine was great, the service was outstanding and staff were so accommodating and friendly! We also loved being able to chat and socialise with other food bloggers and foodies and just openly take photos and talk about what we love – FOOD! So thank you Zomato and Vivace for having us, it was a great experience and we loved it. Until next time!
Approx $70 AUD per person
Address: 317 Bay St, Brighton VIC 3186
Phone: +61 3 9596 9511