Primo Ital­ian din­ing in CBD

Central Otago Mirror - - FEATURES -

The food:

Hav­ing all trav­elled to Italy, my din­ing companions and I were im­pressed to see some of our favourite Ital­ian dishes on the menu at La Voglia and wasted no time in or­der­ing a br­uschetta with tomato, red onion, feta and basil ($9) and aranci­nis filled with beef ragu and napoli sauce ($9) from the an­tipasti menu. Both dishes were fresh, de­li­cious and, with three a piece, per­fect to share. With a range of starters, pizza, pasta and sides to choose from we did our best to or­der a se­lec­tion and each chose a dish from three of the menus. The fet­tucine car­bonara served with creamy sauce, ba­con and parme­san ($22) was a gen­er­ous serv­ing and proved to be a hit with the pasta con­nois­seur at the ta­ble. The pep­per­oni pizza with salami, pep­pers, olives, to­ma­toes and moz­zarella ($21) was a hit and looked and tasted just like those we had all sam­pled dur­ing our trav­els through Italia. From the main’s menu we or­dered corn-fed chicken breast mar­i­nated in gar­lic and le­mon with beet­root, orzo, olives, red onion and salsa verde ($25). The meal was juicy and de­li­cious and wor­thy of an­other visit to La Voglia. The dessert menu of­fered six choices but there was no go­ing past the tiramisu ($13.50) for these din­ers and we were glad we didn’t – it was the per­fect way to end a great meal.

The ser­vice:

From the mo­ment we walked into La Voglia un­til the mo­ment we left the ser­vice we re­ceived was very good, in fact much bet­ter than many other restau­rants and cafes I have re­cently dined in. Our wait­ress was very friendly, made us feel wel­come and an­swered any ques­tions we had in a po­lite and help­ful man­ner. As we ar­rived rel­a­tively early on a week night dur­ing shoul­der sea­son our wait­ress had time to dis­cuss the food and bev­er­age menus with us but as the res­tau­rant be­gan to fill up the great ser­vice con­tin­ued and we never had to wait to place drink or­ders or have our plates cleared.

At­mos­phere:

Hav­ing dined in many Ital­ian restau­rants, we all found the at­mos­phere in La Voglia to be a lit­tle lack­ing. The mu­sic was very quiet and we couldn’t help but hear the con­ver­sa­tions of those around us. The jovial at­mos­phere and noise one ex­pects from an Ital­ian es­tab­lish­ment was sim­ply non-ex­is­tent. The decor, while sim­ple, is nice.

Suit­able for:

With its cen­tral Steamer Wharf lo­ca­tion, La Voglia is an ideal place to meet friends or fam­ily for an evening meal. The res­tau­rant lay­out lends it­self to seat­ing groups of all sizes and has two main din­ing ar­eas on an up­per and lower level. The menu is suit­able for all ages.

The ver­dict:

The food was de­li­cious and fairly priced; the wait­resses were friendly and wel­com­ing and our ta­ble in front of the roar­ing fire made for a cosy set­ting on a cool spring evening. La Voglia of­fers an af­ford­able, tra­di­tional Ital­ian meal in an un­pre­ten­tious set­ting in the heart of Queen­stown.

Pho­tos: BROOKE GAR­DINER/ FAIR­FAX NZ

Fresh food: Br­uschetta with feta, basil, tomato and red onion from La Voglia.

Ev­ery­thing but the noise: La Voglia.

Top dish: The corn-fed chicken from La Voglia tasted ev­ery bit as good as it looked.

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