From the outside, this little restaurant that sits on the corner looks like another plain, old Italian restaurant. Although, enter and open your eyes to beautiful homely accents and modern and clean decor. The food is a reflection of its decor – simple, classic Italian cuisine with a their Verde twist.
We wine and dine in a naturally lit private room dressed with framed paintings, glass vase light fixtures and an elegant, long wooden dining table. But scattered throughout the restaurant are little cosy corners and intimate booths to share a drink, or two.
Chilli dusted calamari
Zucchini flowers filled with ricotta & spinach
Antipasto platter; prosciutto, salami, olives, roasted vegetables, pecorino
For entrees, we choose a few to share. Being a new convert to zucchini flowers, these hit the spot perfectly – wonderfully crunchy on the outside and hidden inside the flower bud are a burst of spinach and ricotta flavours. The chili dusted calamari is another one of the favourites; tender, with just the right kick of chili and spice.
Roasted veal cutlet served with rosemary potatoes, prosciutto bone marrow involtini
Tagliatelle with braised pork shank ragu
Slow cooked duck leg served with herb gnocchi and caramelised balsamic pears
The mains on the menu is a mixture of the traditional; perfect comfort food for a chilly day, and modern dishes with a twist of sophistication.
For my main, I opt for a chunky steak served on a bed of rosemary seasoned potatoes, dressed with wilted spinach and basil with a drizzle of veal jus. I’m game enough to try the bone marrow involtini wrapped in prosciutto but the saltiness and usual textures sadly didn’t leave my taste buds going for more.
The tagliatelle is another hot favourite around the table. It’s a simple dish, but it works. The fresh homemade thick pasta is served with a pork shank ragu, and it tastes as though it has been given much love and care from the chef.
But my jealous eyes linger over my colleague’s slow cooked duck leg. It’s so tender that it falls apart from the bone wonderfully, and it’s served with perfectly caramelised balsamic pears and herb gnocchi. Each component on its own may be bland, but together in one wholesome bite, it’s quite bliss…
Traditional tiramisu with shaved perugino chocolate
Warm bitter chocolate fondente with strawberry marsala
Buffalo milk gelato with berries and yellow gum honey
Caramel & Chocolate liqueur panna cotta with nutella semifreddo
Affogato, coffee and vanilla gelato with Frangelico liqueur
I’ve always been a sweet tooth and fond of desserts, so I giggled with glee when we ordered almost every dessert on the menu. Sometimes it’s a shame that many restaurants are let down by their desserts, and for sweet tooth foodies like myself, I’m thinking about the dessert before I choose my main meal. Fortunately for Verde, each and every one of these desserts were divine in their own nature. A few things I could probably nitpick here and there, but overall, delicious. Definitely would recommend the warm chocolate fondente.
Cnr Stanley St & 115 Riley St