Maria (La Morenita) meets Maria (Vicolo).
CTS Feast No.8: Vicolo Cafe & Risotto Bar, 28-30 Young Street, Moonee Ponds. Phone: 9372 9500. Tuesday, June 17, from 7pm.
It’s something to marvel at – that what started as a simple gathering at Hyderabad Inn in Footscray for about 10 people almost a year has seen the Consider The Sauce Feast concept progress to an eighth outing.
This time we were the guests of Maria at Vicolo in Moonee Ponds.
Of course, a fine time was had by all.
And once more, it seemed like about at least half of the guests had been attendees at one or more previous Feasts.
The Vicolo turn-out was a particularly gregarious crew, all of whom seemed happy and eager to make happy conversation with their immediate table neighbours.
That made my task as host very relaxing – a big thank you for that, too!
I thought the food was super.
Conchiglioni ripienne di ricotta e spinache al forno (giant pasta shells filled with ricotta and spinach, oven-baked in our delicious Napoli sauce) was a light and simple starter with a fine tomato sauce.
Those who chose risotto paesana di vegetale verde e pesto Genoese (risotto with zucchini, asparagus, leek, and green peas and our home-made basil pesto) as their main course were happy.
The sample I tried was flavoursome with pesto and beautifully, slightly al dente vegetables.
The serves were huge!
If anything, those who opted for osso buco cacciatore-style con polenta (tender beef osso buco oven-braised with rosemary, red wine and winter vegetables over soft polenta) were even happier.
It was rich, sticky and wonderful.
This was Bennie’s first experience with this dish – he loved it, but drew the line at sucking up the marrow.
Panna cotta della casa di mandola (homemade almond cream dessert) was divine, the wafting flavour of marzipan being all the more effective for its subtlety.
The lemon tart was equally luscious.
Plenty of people managed to have a good taste of both desserts by doing deals with their neighbours!
Thanks again to everyone, particularly to Maria and her staff.