Enoteca Richmond is the reincarnation of the original Duttons Enoteca, the restaurant attached to the iconic classic car showroom which closed some years ago. The restaurant has remained under new ownership, and I feel has continued to deliver great quality high end italian cuisine.
On arrival we were quickly seated and the sommelier suggested an Italian Prosecco sparkling which was as excellent as she promised. And at only $11 for a small bottle which easily satisfied two it was an excellent beginning to the evening.
The menu at first glance appeared busy, with every course comprising of a complicated and wide range of ingredients. My first feeling was, can the chef pull this off? After being served the antipasto selection and the ox cheek gnocci as entree, I can safely say that he got pretty close. The antipasto was on the main part excellent. Deepfried olives stuffes with veal were salty and delicious, the cured kingfish was fantastic, however a few of the other morsels were under seasoned and lacking refinement. The gnocchi was light and the baby peas added a fresh bite to the braised ox cheek.
Next we ordered the salt crusted char grilled King Island rib eye. Having visited King Island on many occasions, and having become quite familiar with the style of meat they produce on the island, I was looking forward to the intense flavour and velvety mouthfeel that this dish should deliver. I wasn't dissapointed. The beef was well cooked and charred, and remained true to the King Island tradition of simply cooked great quality meat. The accompanying mash was a little overworked and the spinach was under seasoned.
The stuffed duck breast with mushrooms and black pudding was an exciting looking dish, well plated and executed in its
presentation, however the duck was a little undercooked.
I like my duck well and truly pink, but this was in some areas almost
The wine list was thorough and well explained by the sommelier and the ambience of the room was pleasant. The service was attentive and good humoured providing a fantastic place to enjoy a great italian meal despite some of it's shortcoming.
With mains at about $35 and entree and dessert at about $20, Enoteca is not an inexpensive restaurant, however with the level attention to preparation and presentation it would be hard for any establishment ot deliver these at any lower cost. It is a shame however that the cooking of the food did not receive the same high level of attention.