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Enoteca Sileno - Thu, 23rd Oct 2008
920 Lygon Street Carlton North
Ph: 03 9389 7000
http://www.enoteca.com.au/
Prices: Main: $25-$35
Style: Italian
15th Dec 2017
   

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Review by Dave

Oysters and Bubbly

After spending a little time in Italy, it's hard to come home to cheesy Lygon st restaurants with the same worn out pizza and pasta menues. Enoteca Sileno couldn't be more different. There is so much more to Italian food when you're in Italy, and we're big fans of one of the few Italian restaurants in Melbourne that do real Italian food.

We started our evening at Enoteca with Oysters and Bubbly, a special event to celebrate the beginning of spring, the start of the racing carnival, and the fact that it was Thursday. For us, it was a great opportunity to taste a selection of several different sparkling Italian wines, with which we're not very familiar. I'd heartily recommend attending this event should it be run again, although at $65pp it's perhaps a little indulgent for an average weeknight nibble! We'd booked for dinner in the restaurant following the event, and the service throughout the evening was outstanding - praise I rarely give local restaurants, particularly in this price bracket. It's also nice to be served by knowledgeable staff, who can explain the regional background of the dishes and wines without resorting to Google!

We started with several Assaggini dishes (small dishes to share, similar in style to tapas): Clay-baked mixed seasonal mushrooms with formaggio fondente, Braised Oxtail in a style similar to Osso Bucco, and a special trio of melon and prosciutto salad, cotechino sausage with lentils and scallops wrapped in prosciutto. I could quite happily live off the oxtail for months - falling off the bone, not too oily, with a rich tomato sauce that reminds you of home. The scallops were another stand out - perfectly cooked, with crisp proscuitto adding an interesting texture. I enjoyed these with a glass of Cortese de Gavi from Piemonte ($12.50). The winelist is (as you'd expect) dominated by Italian varieties, even on the by-the-glass offerings, and although I'm not very familiar with some of the more obscure grape varieties the staff were very helpful, and not at all condescending. The by-the-bottle wine list is extensive, effectively operated out of Enoteca's wine store next door, with only a reasonable mark-up.

Since we'd already gorged ourselves on oysters before we began, we shared one of the specials for main. Slow braised lamb on a bed of soft polenta, tender and flavoursome, with hints of lemon and fresh herbs. Even shared between the two of us, the serving was very generous. Although dessert was tempting, after 3 courses we couldn't find the space, so will have to wait for next time. Rest assured, there'll definitely be a next time for this little piece of real Italy.

 

We ate:
Entree: Clay-baked mixed seasonal mushrooms with formaggio fondente, Braised Oxtail in a style similar to Osso Bucco, and a special trio of melon and prosciutto salad, cotechino sausage with lentils and scallops wrapped in prosciutto
Main: Slow braised lamb on a bed of soft polenta

We drank:
2007 Gavi "Rughe", Picollo Ernesto Cortese

 

 
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