Is there anything as soulfully satisfying as pasta? Personally, I’m not sure there is! So when OpenTable (www.opentable.com.au) recently invited me to try some of the restaurants available for booking on their platform, I knew that one of the places I went to needed to be Italian. Cue: Nolita in Claremont, which sits on the main Bay View strip and has been a restaurant I’ve been wanting to visit, yet time never seemed to be on my side.
But a quick booking through OpenTable and I found myself there the Saturday before Mother’s Day, with my mum keeping me company. We never dine out on Mother’s Day as it’s too busy so this was the perfect solution. And if it’s possible, she’s actually more pasta obsessed than I am!
The menu at Nolita is quite extensive, so there’s definitely something to suit all tastes. We ordered quickly thanks to our growling bellies and before long our dishes hit our table. I have to say too, that from start to finish the service was just great! Very friendly, water kept topped up and prompt attention given.
For my mum’s entree, she chose the carpaccio ($22.50) which was a dish with thin sliced beef fillet, truffle aioli, sliced fennel, toasted pine nuts, rocket and shaved parmigiano-reggiano. The beef was melt-in-your-mouth tender, though slightly overshadowed by the other ingredients on the plate. I liked the idea of the truffle aioli but it wasn’t overly punchy for my greedy truffle hoarding palate. But regardless, it was a nice dish and very fresh. I just love carpaccio and tartare and similar plates to these!
I opted for the calamari ($20.25), which was a delicious tangle of sumac semolina dusted baby squid with radicchio, rocket, and dill aioli. There wasn’t the promised rocket on the plate, but I didn’t mind at all as I was 100% focused on the calamari – which was an absolute delight.
Crispy, crunchy, well seasoned and perfectly cooked. This was a really good entree (albeit a bit expensive in my opinion), and I enjoyed the accompaniment of that dill aioli a lot!
For our mains, mum ordered the squid ink linguine ($33.00) with clams, prawns, scallops, squid, garlic, chilli, white wine and fresh herbs. I liked the good selection of seafood in the dish, and that they brought out extra chilli oil for her to drizzle throughout the pasta since she loves the fiery heat so much. All the seafood was cooked really well, and the garlic was nice and punchy.
While I had been completely enamoured with the idea of pasta, at the last minute I opted for the risotto ($36.00) which included pan-fried marron, chestnut and wild mushroom risotto with tarragon. It was a really big serving, which I actually couldn’t finish! I really enjoyed the flavours of the dish, the chestnut was a nice nod to traditional Italian ingredients but used in a way I hadn’t had before. But the marron sadly was overcooked and stringy, which was a shame since it’s such an incredible Western Australian ingredient. Regardless though, the dish was enjoyable – I would have probably preferred it without the marron to be honest as it didn’t really feel that cohesive with it.
Oh how I wish my belly hadn’t been full to the brim at this time so I could have indulged in dessert! With dishes like profiteroles, biscotti and semifreddo to choose from my sweet tooth was in overdrive. But alas I made the sensible decision and decided to call it quits there. Every now and then I can be smart in my food choices! And there’s always next time anyway.
It’s been a real treat trying out OpenTable’s restaurants (did you catch my visit to Billie H?) They have some stellar dining choices available for you to select, no matter what your tastebuds are craving there’ll be an option to satisfy you!