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Seared duck liv­ers with Amarene sour cher­ries, po­lenta bianca and crisp pancetta ($19)

Hand­made ravi­oli with spinach, parmi­giano reg­giano, gruyere, buf­falo moz­zarella and or­ganic burnt but­ter and sage ($21, $34)

Cam­pari poached pear tart ($15) smooth drop. There’s an ex­cel­lent se­lec­tion of Ital­ian, Aus­tralian and New Zealand wines avail­able by the bot­tle or glass.

Sweets would seem a bridge too far but on gen­tle per­sua­sion we ac­cept the dessert menu just to have a look’’. There’s a good se­lec­tion of cheeses, in­clud­ing a sir­bone pecorino cro­tonese, a clas­sic south­ern Ital­ian style semi-hard sheep’s milk cheese aged in wicker bas­kets, and a mixed goat and sheep milk cheese aged with grape skins, among oth­ers.

Turn­ing the page, there’s the likes of a nougat, lig­urian honey and al­mond milk semifreddo with can­died al­mond ($15) and an af­fogato with vanilla ice­cream and chocolate liqueur ($15).

We de­cide to share a warm chocolate hazel­nut pud­ding with gold leaf ($16) and blame the neigh­bours for the volte-face. They took de­liv­ery of one as we were pe­rus­ing the desserts list, the waft­ing choco­latey scent rudely in­vad­ing the nos­trils and blow­ing our best in­ten­tions out of the wa­ter. Pen­dolino Shop 100, Level 2, The Strand Ar­cade, 412-414 Ge­orge St, Syd­ney 2000. (02) 9231 6117. www.pen­dolino.com.au. Open: Lunch: Mon-Fri 12pm-3pm; Din­ner: Mon-Sat 6pm-late. Cost: About $220 for two, in­clud­ing wine. Drink: Aus­tralian, NZ and Ital­ian tip­ples. Rea­sons to re­turn: To check out the cafe, bar and L’Olioteca. And to savour once more that ad­dic­tive White Rocks veal pap­pardelle.

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