How often do you walk or drive by a place close to home and never get around to visiting them? The SO and I happen to do that a lot – it’s a shameful admittance, but there you have it.
I love ordering ‘specials of the day’. These are often dishes the kitchen is experimenting with and/or something has come into season the chef just cannot turn away. As a diner, part of the fun in ordering the day’s special is in the gambling on whether that dish will meet the mark of everything else on the regular menu. Do you order ‘specials of the day’?
Vine’s pasta ‘special of the day’ was a tomato linguine tossed in pesto with pork, broccolini and green olives. OK, it might sound like a bit of a jumble, but I threw my chips in and crossed my fingers. I was surprised by how well balanced the flavours were. Even though I hate the taste of anise (I will not touch liquorice or sambuca), the pork’s anise flavour was mild enough that I could shrug it off and enjoy the porkiness. For AUD$28.50, the portion size was generous and I found myself struggling by the end to justify having dessert (but I did) and was very thankful the pasta wasn’t cream based.
However the SO’s twice baked duck was the evening’s winner. While there were parts that were a touch dry, the rich jus coupled with plump lentils made the duck sing. Or quack. Well, you get what I mean. The duck skin almost had the same crisp crackle as the much loved pork crackling.
The SO practically twisted my arm to get dessert and if he had his way, he would’ve shoved an Italian hot chocolate down my throat, but I had to be good. We shared the tiramisu, which had a very light sponge. Where the pasta had been generous, the alcohol content in the tiramisu was miserly. I wasn’t able to detect any masala, but forgave them. Topped with a vanilla cream, the mascarpone and rippled chocolate shavings sponge concoction was otherwise lovely and didn’t force me to roll all the way home.