We met up with Steve's colleagues and other halves on Friday night for drinks in Left Bank and a few (6) of us decided to go find some dinner together so I suggested Tutto Bene thinking that Italian would be good for all tastes and diets. I did think about Meat and Wine Co. but given that there was a vegetarian amongst us, thought it was probably not the most appealing!
A quick call just before 8pm to Tutto Bene secured us a table for 8:15pm. We were shown straight to our table and a drinks order taken. We all decided to plump for a main course with a view to perhaps a dessert afterwards. Red wine and white wine was ordered and arrived promptly.
Strangely enough for an Italian restaurant, there was no pizza or pasta. What they do have is a "risotteria" so risotto is the house specialty. Simon Humble is the executive chef at Tutto Bene and Antonio Carluccio himself as declared him the Risotto King of Australia!
As well as risotto there are various specials and meat and fish dishes. The braised duck risotto with porcini mushroom and sage proved to be a popular choice with 3 of us opting for it. I had had a heads up from Tanya that it was good and sure enough it was so delicious I could have eaten it twice. I usually get bored halfway through a risotto dish as it all becomes a bit samey samey but this was just divine. What would have lifted it to the sublime was if there was a grilled duck breast lightly seared so still pink in the middle lying on tip but I guess it would also have elevated the price. All duck risotto eaters were very happy.
A blue swimmer crab with tomato and chilli risotto was also ordered which I had the privilege of tasting and that was also good but sadly it arrived lukewarm. A quiet word in the waiter's ear and it was whisked away and returned piping hot. We're not sure whether it was simply nuked in the microwave or made again but either way there was a clean plate at the end of the meal so that's all that matters.
A vegetarian risotto of porcini mushrooms and truffle was also ordered and its consumer, Stacey, declared it delicious. We had one non risotto eater and she chose the fish of the day which was barramundi with some braised calamari. It looked like quite a small portion but I think it was good. No complaints anyway.
Dessert time resulted in a raspberry sorbet, two tiramisu creme brulee, a chocolate cherry thing and a cheese plate acoompanied by various dessert wines, muscat, port etc. All got eaten but my personal opinion was that main courses were better than dessert.
Having thought I could have eaten another dish of risotto, by this stage there was no way that could happen and really all that I could do was pass out! Luckily home was very close by. I really enjoyed Tutto Bene - so thank you very much for the suggestion Tanya! I promise I'll try the arancini balls next time to see if they better Giuseppe Arnaldo's!