Date: 8 November 2009
We haven’t eaten here in ages, and it is one of the few places open in Kingston on a Sunday, so we kind of ended up here by accident. That being said, the food was pretty good. We shared a large pizza with half mushroom and half vegetarian topping and a salad with olives, avocado and bocconcini cheese (can’t remember what it is called). I was a bit disappointed with the salad – only 2 pieces of tomato!! But their pizza is pretty good. The base is one of the nicest I have eaten, but the pizzas always seem to end up a little sloppy! Would definitely go back for pizza!
This was the third time I had eaten here, always with the same person! It is close to her work, so easy for us to get to and gives us maximum time to chat! Last time we both had pad thai, although mine was the veggie version and it was really yummy! This time I had the margarita pizza and my friend had the pumpkin and spinach risotto. We were so busy chatting about things that we were not eating very fast and the chef sent a waiter over to ensure everything was ok with the food! Next time, if we are planning on ‘working’ over lunch, we will have to sit where the chef can’t see us! I am always impressed with the food here, and it is reasonably priced for lunch. Oh, and the hot chocolates are pretty good too!
We had decided to have dinner prior to the Missy Higgins concert and I was dying to try something new! Yes, just because I haven’t updated veggie bites for ages doesn’t mean I have stopped eating out! It just means we go to all our favourite places all the time! This place has been around for years, and finally decided that we should try it. We started with garlic bread, which was the flat pizza type bread, and was pretty good. Martin finally decided on gnocchi pesto (he always has pesto!) and I had one of the specials without the bacon – I think it was called pasta florentina. It was a slightly creamy tomato based sauce with a hint of chilli and mushrooms – it was delicious! As was the pesto. We all decided to opt for dessert and I had profiteroles, Martin had a biscotti which came with a desert wine to dip them in and our friends had the cannoli. The meals were huge and the desserts were huge – I managed to eat two out of three profiteroles before handing it over to Martin. There is a reasonable selection of veggie options here and we all agreed that the food was really good. Too bad they are not closer to home!
Again, lunch with a fairly ‘new’ friend. Well it was kind of a working lunch as we are both members of the same volunteer organisation and we were chatting about the work that it does. My friend told me that the same people who run Mezzalira also run this place, so I had fairly high expectations, although I also assumed it would be cheaper as it is more of a cafe than a restaurant. They had a lot of yummy looking pre-made salads and rolls, but they also had a menu with more substantial meals. I opted for the penne arrabiatta, which, if you read veggie bites regularly, you’ll know is a favourite of mine! My friend had the chicken risotto. The arrabiatta had mushrooms, olives and peppers in it as well as the usual tomato and chilli. It also had quite a bit of black pepper in it. It was delicious! I was wary of the mushrooms – not a common ingredient in arrabiatta, but they didn’t detract from it at all! There was certainly a varied choice on the menu – including pasta and risotto, pizza, asian salads, stir fries and pad thai, as well as things like steak sandwiches and the like. There were quite a few vegetarian meals and it was reasonably priced, I would definitely go back!!
We always eat out on Boxing Day as it is our anniversary, but we also often have a bit of trouble finding a restaurant that is open. After trying a few other places, we decided to eat here, and we were kind of lucky to get a table, as it was pretty full! We ended up outside which was good, because it would have been very noisy inside! In the past I have made complaints about the service here, but this time the service was quite good. The staff were friendly and chatty. We started with a dip platter which came with breads. It was quite nice, but it would have been great if we had been told what the dips actually were – because although we were able to work out most of them ourselves, there was one or two that we were not sure about. For mains, Martin had the veggie risotto and I opted for a pizza (Mediterranean I think). The Bellucci’s menu indicates which dishes are vegetarian, and although my pizza didn’t list any meat on it, it also didn’t have a little ‘v’ symbol, so I double checked when I ordered it. I have to say, it was quite delicious. Martin was also very happy with his risotto. Despite being fairly full, we decided that since we were celebrating, we would have dessert and because it was a little coolish we also decided to have hot chocolate. Martin had the panna cotta for dessert and I had something chocolatey with a toffee sauce (I can’t remember what it was called!). Both were quite nice, but there was no way I could fit all of mine in… Overall, it was quite good, both meal-wise and experience-wise. I am not sure I would become a regular though!
We were having dinner with my Grandad and Uncle, and the choice of restaurants in Te Anau is fairly limited as it is a smallish town. Italian seemed to suit all of us and this place had a pretty good deal – 2 people for $40 and you got garlic bread, two pastas or one large pizza (from a limited selection), dessert and coffee. We chose to have two pastas and Martin ordered the Pasta al Verde while I had the Pasta Piccanti – a tomato based sauce with mushrooms, olives and chilli (I think – it was a while ago now!). The serves were huge and they tasted pretty good. We also ordered a salad, probably because we felt we should eat something healthy as well as having dessert! My Grandad and Uncle shared a pizza and they said it was delicious! For dessert I ordered the cheesecake and Martin had the pecan pie – he claimed it was to compare it to one I make that is a hit with everyone who tries it! Of course, he said it was nowhere near as good as mine, and I was a little disappointed with the cheesecake – it came as a mousse-y type thing and had a funny taste to it. Needless to say, neither of us finished our desserts. Instead of coffee we had hot chocolates, and we were so full we could barely finish them. The two people for $40 was and excellent deal – there was an awful lot of food for $40!
Hmmmm, I am not sure how to start this review. Martin and I have walked past this place a couple of times and not gone in, but when a friend asked us if we wanted to have dinner with him, we thought we would try it – as it is something different and in the interests of keeping veggie bites from getting boring, I wanted to try something different. I believe we probably should have kept walking again! We could have walked a very long way for dinner and it would have been quicker than eating here! I should have known when it took them a while before they acknowledged us and directed us to a table (and to be honest, they only just made that cut – I was close to giving up just as they came over!). So we sat down, with our unopened bottle of wine and were given two menu’s between three of us. When someone finally took our order, we ordered some mixed breads, and then I asked about one of the pasta dishes on the menu as it wasn’t clear that it was vegetarian. The waitress simply looked at the description on the menu and read it out to me. I was still uncertain and asked her to clarify that it did not contain bacon (I can’t remember the name of the dish – it was the longest one on the menu and contained sun-dried tomatoes and chilli). She assured me it didn’t, but I was rather worried until it finally arrived. Martin ordered pesto and our friend had risotto – chicken I think. And we had a Greek salad to share. We also had to ask them to open our bottle of wine for us! It took a while for our bread to arrive, so long in fact that I was a little concerned that our mains would arrive before we had finished the bread – but I really didn’t need to worry about that! Since we had been there for so long, we decided that another bottle of wine was a must and our friend ducked off across the street to the bottle shop – he came back with a screw top bottle which was extremely good thinking on his part! Of course, our mains arrived almost as soon as he left! Thank goodness none of us ordered pizza as they took even longer. The table next to us, who ordered before us, received their pizza quite a while after our mains arrived. And we all watched as a number of people came in and ordered take away pizza and got them before the eat-in pizzas arrived. To be fair, we did also notice the poor guy who had been waiting for his take away for almost an hour – you can cook your own pizza (including the base) in that amount of time! But then again, as we were leaving, we noticed a family of three where the parents had finished their pasta and the plates were cleared and their child was still waiting on her pizza. That is quite poor really! Some people had told me that this place was slow – but that is ridiculous! We finished and decided not to bother with dessert, as it was fairly late already! So we got up and our friend went over to pay – this too was a slow process. So slow, in fact, that our friend realised the next day that the waitress had not returned his credit card after he paid – luckily they still had it when he went back! Initially I attributed the slowness to the young appearance of the wait staff – I thought ‘good on them for having a go – they’ll improve over time’. But then I saw the chef and the manager, both of whom were clearly older and realised that it must be bad management on their part and since then I have had a quick look on google and found other people have had very similar experiences. All that being said, the food was ok – not great and certainly not worth the wait. Café Pronto – I don’t think so!
In some theory of the world, this was lunch, however, knowing our friends, we figured out that it was really brunch for them! And most of us ended up ordering breakfast anyway! I couldn’t really go past the potato fritters (which I am pretty sure were billed as ‘crispy’ on the menu, but weren’t when they arrived!) that came with feta, and tomato salsa, I also ordered a side of mushrooms. The fritters were ok, definitely not crispy, the salsa and the feta gave a nice touch and added some quite strong flavours! I was a little disappointed with the side of mushrooms, as there were only 3 of them, and they were not huge! Martin ordered some form of a giant breakfast which had eggs, toast and your choice of 4 sides – he took the veggie ones – feta, tomato, mushrooms and homemade baked beans. I had wanted to taste the baked beans, but didn’t want to order them myself, so of course I tasted Martin’s and they were pretty good! Our friends went for a foccacia and a risotto and I didn’t hear too many complaints. A couple of the others had dessert, but I opted for more hot chocolate, which was pretty good. All in all, a quite nice meal – as usual!
This is one of our favourite places especially if we are heading to a show! We were rather boring and ordered the usual – penne arrabiatta for me and fuseli pompeii for Martin. We also had garlic bread and a Mediterranean salad, a couple of glasses of wine and a hot chocolate each to finish it off. It was all great as usual, although, the pasta sauces were a little different, kind of less oily – although I guess that is a good thing!
It was my birthday! We went out for dinner! I felt like Italian, but didn’t want to go somewhere that we usually go, so, since we had only been here once before, we decided to give it another try. There is a decent choice for vegetarians, and they are marked – which is nice! We started with garlic bread, which was pretty good. For our mains, I had the pasta (can’t remember what type) Verona – which had sun dried tomatoes and goats cheese among other things and Martin opted for the artichoke tart which came on a bed of something delicious with green beans and a yummy sort of sauce. (It was a while ago now, and I can’t remember everything that was in these dishes, so forgive me – I have been busy!) The tart wasn’t huge, but my pasta was, so I let Martin finish it off for me! We also both had a glass of wine with our mains, the menu has wine recommendations for the various dishes, and Martin opted to go with the recommended (white) wine for his dish, whereas I preferred to choose my chardonnay. Being a special occasion, we opted to have dessert and I couldn’t go past the macadamia tart, which came with lovely macadamias encased in delicious caramel-type thing in a tart case, and Martin had the white chocolate cheesecake. Dessert was accompanied by a glass of dessert wine – there were two on the menu and we tried one each. Funnily enough, we each liked our own, but not each others! This is a nice restaurant with a pretty good menu. However, I think that once I have eaten here a few times, then I will have tried all the veggie items on the menu. I also just re-read the review I wrote last time and realised that I had eaten the same thing both times. Hmmm, I think that might indicate that there are things that I don’t like in the other dishes. I wonder how often they change change their menu…