L'Enoteca, Italian dining

L'Enoteca is yet another new kid on the block in Victoria Park, along Albany Highway. Enoteca is an Italian word which means "wine repository". Eno meaning "wine" and teca "case, receptacle, box". It's a classy yet cosy little corner shop on Albany Highway serving fine dining style Italian food with a reasonable price tag as far as fine dining goes.

We visited on a Thursday night so the restaurant was not packed with patrons and it allowed to easily hear each other. The interior of the restaurant was modern, fresh and simple. Nothing fancy, great for any-time sort of dining. Wine was certainly their specialty, especially Italian wines, they had a rather extensive wine list for us to peruse.

We were seated at the much darker but quieter back end of the restaurant which had a really nice chandelier piece dangling over the tables, and this was probably the only source of light at the back.

As it was so dark, we did a bit of experimenting! Luckily the friend I was catching up with is a photographer herself and was all for a bit of photographic fun. We basically used my iPhone to light the dishes and eventually we got the hang of lighting dishes with a super bright light. By the time we hit the last dish, I think we got the diffused light set up well using some trusty paper napkins and holding it up really high!

Entree 1: Stuffed field mushrooms with ricotta cheese ($15). It had a great balance of flavour and it was a lovely start to our meal.

Entree 2: Arancini balls stuffed with roasted red pepper & basil with some finely grated cheddar ($9). You can't go wrong with Arancini balls, it's always one of my favourite dishes to share. L'Enoteca actually had three types of arancini filling to choose from, the other two sounded equally enticing, Funghi or Traditional Bolognase. We decided to go for something a bit different.

Main 1: Roasted spatchcock, marinated in garlic& chilli, served with roasted potatoes & sauteed asparagus ($34). The spatchcock was cooked very well and the skin was nice and crisp. The roasted potatoes were nice and soft. It was quite a generous serving and easily shared between two people. It's a overall a nice dish, simple and flavoursome, but nothing out of the ordinary.

Main 2: Prawn and crab linguine al vino bianco, garlic and chilli ($25). This was a really lovely dish, I always love prawn and crab in pasta so I easily gravitated towards this dish when I saw it on the menu. I actually found the dish quite light, if not a tad under seasoned for those who love their foods very well seasoned & salted. It was a touch too oily for my liking but overall I liked this dish over the spatchcock. 

Dessert 1: Tiramisu  ($15). It's hard to dine at an Italian restaurant without trying their home made Tiramisu. I'm generally not a fan of Tiramisu and probably can't tell the difference between "excellent" and "good". To me it was a nice little dessert, with a punchy coffee flavour.

Dessert 2: Pannacotta, served with balsamic strawberies marinatedin a 4 year old aged Vincotto (which is a cooked wine) ($15). I really enjoyed the Pannacotta (as did my friend) and it was probably the dish of the night, which is a nice way to end our dining experience! From a photographic point of view, this was also my favourite photo of the night, mostly because by our sixth dish and some experimentation, we go the light just right (or as right as can be given the conditions & lighting using an iPhone).

Overall it was a lovely dinner and a place I would visit again, most likely for lunch to check out it's more casual food options. I also think during the day it makes for a nice little cafe. It has large glass window panes lining the walls of the shop, which will allow for lots of natural light to flow through. This place has my tick of approval!

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