Riverside Kitchen & Events, 55 Newsom Street, Ascot Vale. Phone: 9326 0525
The longer Consider The Sauce lives in the west, the more delightful are surprises we stumble upon of people and places that have been there all along.
Even better – much, much better – the catering and food affairs at Riverside go way beyond what may be expected at a golf club.
I’m told that for at least a couple of years, Riverside Kitchen & Events has been running here, delivering the food and service of a traditional, old-school Italian restaurant.
You can check out the full Riverside menu here but tonight the four of us are here to take the place for a spin in the form of the Tuesday’s $12 pizza and pasta specials (see menu below).
The place does has an attractive clubbishness that is not unexpected – it’s a cool place to spend some time and must be a true delight for a sunny summer lunch or early evening weekend dinner.
On a “research” visit a few days previously, I’d spied house-made zippoli, tiramisu and canoli!
The $12 Tuesday menu is a restricted selection of the menu proper’s pizza and pasta line-up – no surprise the five of each evince no presence of seafood, but that’s fine by us.
The food we enjoy is the real deal and of much better quality than we’d find at a similarly priced theme night at, say, a pokie venue or the like.
Only one of we four goes for a pizza.
The Frank Special has mushies, bacon, basil, tomato and mozzarella.
At first we cynically start to think the pie is adorned with the dreaded “pizza ham” – but no, this is real bacon and it makes all the difference.
This is a good pizza, period.
For $12, it’s terrific.
My fettuccine alla bolognese is simple but very enjoyable.
The rich sauce appears to have been made with real meat rather than brought-in mince and the noodles have the sort of suppleness that speaks of made-in-the-kitchen pasta.
We’re assured that all the Riverside pasta is created thusly!
The pasta that comes with the spaghetti al cartoccio is likewise of fine quality.
The parcel’s contents are alive with the flavours of capers, garlic and olives.
This dish tastes and eats a whole lot better than it photographs.
And, as with all three of our pasta choices, the portion size is big.
Bennie’s gnocchi piccanti has good but quite heavy pasta pillows bathing in a rich tomato sauce with chilli and hot salami.
He’s a little underwhelmed but it tastes fine to me and is quite spicy.