Sunday, September 4 commemorated Father’s Day in Australia. To celebrate, my family and I travelled through Adelaide’s Western suburbs to dine at Enzo’s Ristorante, located in Hindmarsh. My father is a second generation Australian – both his parents (and the majority of siblings) migrated from Italy to Australia during the 50’s. So, it’s no surprise that he absolutely loves feasting on traditional, gourmet Italian food. Subsequently, I thought Enzo’s Ristorante was the perfect venue to spend our afternoon, which proved to be a success. Although my parents have dined at Enzo’s many a time, it was a first for me, therefore you can imagine how eager I was to try the food which just about everyone I know has dubbed as ‘amazing’. Keep reading below to hear all about our wonderful Father’s Day experience.
It would be an injustice if I didn’t mention the restaurant’s impeccable service first off. As soon as I stepped foot into the dining area, I was pleasantly surprised with what my observant eyes noticed: waiters literally on standby, ready to serve and attend to new and already seated customers. We were greeted as if we walked into the staff’s very own home, we felt welcomed and wanted – I can’t stress how crucial this when dining out. I also appreciated that two of our main waiters spoke Italian to us, we were truly in our glory at this point and for a moment, thought I was actually in the midst of a siesta in Italy.
Being Father’s Day, the restaurant had a set menu. I’m still day dreaming over their impressive entrée, a shared platter of the following:
– Olive Miste (warm marinated mixed olives)
– Bruschettina con granchio (toasted continental bread with blue swimmer crab meat)
– Burrata con Prosciutto (fresh mozzarella cheese parcels with San Daniele prosciutto)
– Panzerotti fritti con Spinaci e Roctta di Bufula (deep fried pastry parcels filled with spinach and buffalo ricotta and crushed almonds)
– Polpette al sugo (homemade meat balls in a traditional tomato sauce)
– Pancetta di Maiale arrosto (slices of twice cooked pork belly)
– Sarde in Saor (sweet and sour sardines with pickled onion, raisins and pine nuts)
See, I wasn’t lying when I said impressive. Of course I sampled each dish on the platter, each element bursting with fresh and distinct flavours. Even the sardines (which are often a pet peeve of mine) were devoured without a second thought. The three standouts for me though, include the toasted continental bread with crab meat, the homemade meat balls and the spinach and ricotta pastries. Both my parents and I polished off the entrée platter with ease and felt assured that great things were coming in terms of our mains. Sneak peek: we were correct.
In between courses, we had ample time to sit back and fascinate over the restaurant’s beautiful scenery – and I’m referring to its inside! The walls featured vivid art work of differing sites in Italian cities. I directly sat across one of Scilla, a village situated right near Calabria, where my father is from. My mum eagerly searched for a painting of Veneto, where her family are from but was unsuccessful. This of course led to a reminiscent discussion of our six week holiday in Italy several years ago, which was only fitting considering Enzo’s authentic Italian aura.
Out came our mains as well as a slight drool from the corner of my lip. I had ordered the Rigatoni al ragu’ di Maiale (Enzo’s freshly made pasta – they weren’t exaggerating with the word fresh – with slow cooked pork ragu. My parents ordered the Gnocchi alla Sorrentina (handmade potato dumpings oven baked with Napoletana sauce and Buffalo mozzarella and basil) and the Calamari sale e pepe (local SA deep fried calamari served with a lemon and aioli salad). As soon as one of those rigatonis entered my salivating mouth, I did a little dance inside as they were cooked al-dente. Tick! The pieces of pork ragu were succulent and blended well with the Napoletana sauce. The pasta to meat rational was quite even, and I found that after a dash of olio di peperoncino (chili oil) my meal was at a level of perfection. Parmesan cheese topped off the dish and I was left feeling more than satisfied. As for my parents’ choices, my mum commented on the freshness of her calamari and my dad hardly spoke a word while eating, which trust me, is a very good sign.
Although we were all so full, we couldn’t help but treat ourselves to dessert, it was Father’s Day after all. For me, the tiramisu stood out, which was rich, yet not overly sickening, with strong coffee and chocolate flavours tickling my palate. My mother chose the Baileys panna cotta, which yes, jiggled to perfection. For my father, came a Marsala (Italian wine) and macadamia gelato. Along with his dessert, came a lecture about Marsala and its health benefits, which was featured in the diets of many Italians growing up. For example, my nonna (grandmother), as did many others, would mix a shot of Marsala with white egg yolk and sugar for their children during sickness and when in need of an energy boost.
Not only did Enzo’s Ristorante provide my family and I with a wonderful Father’s Day lunch, full of gourmet, mouth-watering food (using fresh ingredients of course) – it allowed us to reflect on our roots as an Italian family who originated from such a beautiful country such as Italy. Good food has the power to connect people and bring out emotions and memories which we hold close to our heart. It reflects our upbringings, culture and life values, a true insight of our inner selves. Visit Enzo’s when you have the chance, and be sure to thank me later.
Header image: Enzo’s Ristorante