Il Porto – Nelson Bay, NSW

We were going to get some take away from an Indian restaurant, but it was closed, so we headed out to see what was open. I thought this place looked a little odd (sort of commercial and not really traditional) so I guess I didn’t really expect great food… which was what we got! We started with the bruschetta and a greek salad – both of which were great, but I have to say the salad was exceptional… full of feta and really, really good olives! I didn’t even miss the tomato! There were a number of veggie mains on the menu, however we both opted for other dishes without the meat – which they were happy to do for us. I had the spaghetti arrabiatta (yes, again!!) and Martin had the penne diavola. Both dishes came with optional chilli and we were asked how hot we would like it. Realising later that it was a stupid thing to say, I said ‘as hot as it comes’ meaning that the chef should decide and I would eat it as it comes with chilli in it – after I said it I realised that it was probably interpreted as ‘make it really hot!’. Anyway, it was incredibly delicious, and it was definitely one of the most spicy arrabiattas that I have ever eaten! Martin was also very impressed with his dish, commenting that the pasta was just another one of the ingredients instead of the main thing in the dish… We washed it all down with a large glass of Cockfighters Ghost Merlot each and it complemented the meal very well! The serves were huge, but I saw another table eating some very delicious looking desserts, so we decided to check the menu. After much discussion about the Toblerone Chocolate Mousse, we finally agreed on the profiteroles filled with Grand Marnier cream to share… and they were very, very good… and excellent finish to an excellent meal… If I were to go back to Nelson Bay, then I would definitely eat here again…