Friday, November 30, 2012

Tartufo: Tony's Italian Table

On Wednesday I had the pleasure of being invited by Karen Reyment (TheWordOnFood) to join her and a few other bloggers at Tony's Italian Table. Tony's Italian Table isn't the name of an event but a gorgeous new offering at Tartufo which allows groups of six or more to enjoy a multi course Italian feast. This offering is changed daily based on seasonal produce and naturally the whim of Tartufo Head Chef, Tony Percuoco. As a native of Naples, Tony is absolutely passionate about his food and this is evident from the care he takes to ensure special dietary requirements are met and the passion in his voice when he describes the source of his produce. All of the bread and pasta used in the restaurant are made on site and while the majority of the Tartufo produce is sourced from growers within a 200km radius of Brisbane, Tony can't ignore perfection so you will see the occassional distant treat such as Gippsland Veal or buttery Italian Proscutto. 
Our Italian feast opened with beautiful crusty housemade bread served with organic extra virgin olive oil, marinated mixed Italian olives and platters of traditional antipasto. If you have a favourite item then I recommend you get in fast as in the tradition of a family feast it is first in best dressed. However Tony is aware that occassionally we have our favourites so each guest was served their own individual arancini ball. The recipe for the arancini are just as Tony's Mother used to make and filled with peas, parmesan, mozzarella and tomato. Absolutely delicious, fresh, balanced like all the dishes in this feast but for me the stand out dishes were:
  • Insalata Caprese
    Fresh sliced tomatoes topped with mozzarella, basil and extra virgin olive oil.
  • Vitello Tonnato
    Braised Gippsland veal served cold, thinly sliced, topped with a tuna mayonnaise of capers, anchovies and served with cornichons. 
  • Gnochetti Sardi Ai Piselli
    House made small shell pasta with onion, pancetta, fresh peas and pea puree, pepper and pecorino cheese.  
  • Semifreddo Al Torrone
    Hazelnut, nougat semifreddo (house made ice-cream terrine) served with crostoli and espresso sauce.  
Parking and public transport is highly accessible at the Emporium, the space is welcoming, the food was divine and service impecable. But apart from a huge thanks to Tony and his wife, Gordana, I wanted to also thank Karen for being such a warm host and the other bloggers on the table for their company: 

So might I recommend that you grab a bunch of six or so of your closest friends and take on the impressive feast that is Tony's Italian Table. You won't be disapppointed.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Address: 100 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley, QLD 4006.
Open: Lunch and Dinner 7 Days.

Phone: (07) 3852 1500.
Price: $50 per person.

Ristorante Tartufo on Urbanspoon

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Beer Stalker

Thanks to a random number generator and the lovely Renee at the Pantry Review I managed to win a double pass to the Lifestyle Maggie Beer Chefs Table at the Brisbane Good Food and Wine Show but never has a prize been so difficult to claim! 

I was informed by Renee on Saturday that the ladies at Square One PR would mail out the passes and without any sign of them by the Thursday I was growing concerned so I called the company. They assured me that the passes had been mailed but to call them if there were any problems so they could arrange collection from the Box Office. There were times when I was ready to cry but honesty there were that many errors that in hindsight it was hilarious: 

  • The passes arrived 2pm on Friday for the 1pm Friday session. I didn't make this discovery until I opened my mail at 6pm and frantically called and twittered Square One PR. The ladies picked up and said they wouldn't be able to correct it until the next day.
  • I was contacted the next day to say that unfortunately the Maggie Beer Chefs Table's allocation was exhausted and to make it up to us, they booked us into the Celebrity Theatre that afternoon and arranged for a meet and greet at 3.30pm.
  • I arrived at the Good Food and Wine Show to pick up the tickets from the Box Office to find the Celebrity Theatre session was 11am. I called Square One PR in a panic and they confirmed the meet and greet was still on but they had booked me into the Chefs Table with Anna Gare at 5pm.
  • Come 3.30pm and I'm ushered into the VIP lounge with Spensley. We're treated to some canapes, a comfortable chair and a cool drink. We wait for an hour and Maggie Beer never shows. However my brother who was mixing it up with the great unwashed managed to score a photo with her. The time stamp on the photo out of interest was 3.30pm. 

But I can highly recommend Anna Gare! She is as lovely and bubbly as she comes across on television and I came away with a solid respect for her cooking. The Lifestyle Food Goodie bags were also extremely generous, chock full of numerous food and kitchen products and I'm pleased to say that I am now the proud owner of one KitchenAid product ... a spatula! On a whole I loved the Good Food and Wine Show from the passionate and bustling cheese alley (I highly recommend Bruny Island Cheese Co and Banglow Cheese Co) to scoffing icecream sandwiches and running into what seemed like half of Brisbane. This foodie event is still the must see event of the year ... oh for those wondering we never did get to meet Maggie Beer. There's always next year.