Friday always seems so far away when I'm blogging on a Sunday or at work on a Monday but then it gathers speed and momentum and all of a sudden, the weekend has landed! Steve booked Ciao Cielo in Port Melbourne and we ventured into this twinkly and romantic neighbourhood bistro. White tablecloths and candlelight provides an atmosphere that feels special and elegant. Service is attentive and the feel is intimate.
I chose to start with the smoked fish and potato chowder which was on the specials and Steve went with spaghetti bolognese. I enjoyed the thick and comforting chowder and Steve enjoyed the meaty spaghetti which was spiced with cinammon and other flavours giving it an intensity and twist away from the usual midweek dinner version! Later on another couple came and sat at the table next to us and she exclaimed that she came back especially for the spaghetti bolognese as it was the most amazing one she'd ever had! I'm not sure it was that good but each to their own!
It's the season for quail and I'm a lover of the little bird so went with the BBQ Vincotto glazed quails, pomegranate, macadamia nut, grape, & frigola salad. Prebsentation was a little try hard with a perfect garden of salad and grapes placed with precision. I enjoyed the quail and the sweetness of the glaze and promegranate - quite a classic combination that was executed decently.
Steve enjoyed the Hopkins River Grain Fed eye fillet with rosemary polenta croquettes, oak lettuce and Spanish onion salad and red wine jus. This looked more appetising than the quail I thought and the croquettes looked so appealing all golden and crispy. The steak was great - flavoursome and tender. The salad was dressed well and the leaves were fresh and vibrant. The croquettes tasted as good as they looked. Three were very generous and I think we didn't manage to get through all of them.
Steve and I swapped plates halfway so we could enjoy both the dishes and we also shared a bowl of great shoestring fries that were crispy and salty. Perfect bistro fries!
Dessert time and I went with the churros and was advised to go half dark choc and half white so not one to flout advise I went with it and it was so good. When the dark chocolate became a bit too bitter I'd swap to the creamy sweet milky white chocolate and when that became to sugary and sweet I'd get the bitter hit from the dark. Oh the delights of choice!
Steve's choice was a honey and almond semi freddo with a persimon carpaccio and it certainly was fancy. He enjoyed the sweetness and lightness of it.
Ciao Cielo is a lovely neighbourhood restaurant and I can imagine if we lived in Port Melbourne it would be a favourite. I loved the twinkliness and the intimacy of it. Definitely a romantic date place.