Date: August 2009
2009 Rating: 75th
2009 Star rating: 1
Chef: Maurice Esposito
Location: 162 Elgin Street, Carlton, Victoria
Its been a while since my last top 100 visit, and this month I've managed to visit a few, thanks in part to the Put Victoria on the Table promotion. Earlier this week we moseyed on down to Esposito @ Toofeys. Esposito is renowned for his seafood so I at least knew what I wanted for my main, something fishy.
The decore and atmosphere was actually quite lovely, there was only one problem. Jonquils! I HATE Jonquils, don't get me wrong, I think they are very pretty, but they smell horrid! I would not immediately pair the smell of Jonquils with mouth watering dishes, but on the other hand I really dislike them, the next person to walk through the door may love them. So its hardly something I can complain about.
We started the meal with a complementary appetiser. I love it when the chef takes the time to come up with something that each of his/her diners receives before they start their meal. Its even better when that little something extra tastes awesome! We received a tiny little dish filled with mixed herbs including tarragon, mint, dill, parsley, fennel and spring onion all combined in a mustard dressing. It was delicious, great way to kick things off.
We weren't particularly hungry so stuck to the two course dinner. For entree/main I had the John Dory fillets with kipfler potato and mud crab crush and artichoke tortellone. I enjoyed the dish. The crab/potato crush was by far my favourite, you could really taste the crab in the crush and it went really well with the crispy skin on the dory. The problem? The fish was extremely under seasoned and there was a tomato on my plate in the middle of winter. Enough said.
Daz had the Black Angus fillet steak with mushroom ragout, 50 year old balsamic vinegar and potato puree. The plate was quite pretty. Daz's reaction was that the dish was good, but not great.
For dessert I had the Hot date tart - Spiced frangipane with vanilla bean ice cream. I just couldn't resist the name of this dish and I just had to have the hot date for myself. I was pretty glad I did. There was some slight confusion and my date went to another table, would have been understandable if it had been a blind date. By the time it reached me, the ice cream had melted quite a bit. The pastry was flaky and it definitely lived up to its name, piping hot with the nice thick layer of date. Hmmm yum!
The end of Daz's meal was a bit more cheesy than mine. He had Pyengana cheddar, toasted fruit bread and house of Hines quince paste. I had a little nibble of his cheddar and it was pretty good. Crumbly and sweet, too bad the fruit bread was more like toast.
Esposito was nice, I wish I had a chance to try more of the seafood, so another visit is needed.