Tuesday, August 9, 2011

EnoPizzeria, Neutral Bay

It was Dumpling Mummy's birthday, and when you have fussy siblings like I do... Well, what they like to eat, dictates what we eat when we dine out together as a family.  The other part of my family hates to travel, so when I heard that Mauro Marcucci had just recently opened EnoPizzeria in Neutral Bay, I knew that it was going to be the perfect place for everyone to enjoy a relaxed birthday lunch.

With all the rushing around due to birthday preparations, Cheesecake Boy decided he really needed a beer.  Before consumption, being the good boy that Cheesecake Boy is, he did give the fascinated little ones a spiel about responsible drinking though.

Peroni, $8

My sister Cupcake Girl is practically vegetarian, so I though it would be nice to start of with some eggplant and smoked Mozzarella croquettes.  These croquettes were definitely a highlight for me.  I loved the simple flavours of smoky soft eggplant and mozzarella that was encased in perfectly crispy golden breadcrumbs. 

Crochette con melanzane e provola, $12

Dumpling Mummy has a soft spot for pate, so when we heard that one of the specials was a duck pate, it was a must order.  Now I grew up eating pate due to my mum's fondness for it and I can admit it is an accquired taste. Our duck pate entree had a lovely velvety richness without being overpowering.  The addition of the Tokay reduction added a heighten sweetness that complemented the pate beautifully.  Dumpling Mummy's only gripe was that she found the accompanying bruschetta was too crunchy to bite into.  However, Cheesecake Boy who really does not like pate, actually did not mind this one, and that is saying a lot.

Duck pate with bruschetta, $14

I really love porchetta which is an Italian style boneless roast pork usually stuffed with garlic and rosemary.  I tend to only get my fixed once a year at the Norton Street Italian Festa, as I hardly see it on any restaurant menus.  I'm use to eating thick slabs of porchetta in a soft floury roll.  The version at EnoPizzeria was much loved, but is slightly more refined, as the porchetta is thinly sliced with crispy edges and served with crusty triangles of herb focaccia.  

Porchetta con focaccia all'erbe, $20
Super close up of the herb focaccia
Close up shot of the porchetta

My little brother DS Boy ordered his favourite spaghetti Bolognese from the children options.  However, the waiter noticed he is a growing boy and offered it to us in a main size that was not an option available on the menu.  DS Boy ate it all very quickly, so I guess that it was a sign that he enjoyed it.

Spaghetti Bolognese, $24

My other sister Pumpkin really loves her pasta and ordered the spaghetti allo scoglio that consisted of fish, prawn and clams, which was finished off with some garlic, herbs, chilli and extra virgin olive oil.  I had a bite and the pasta was beautifully cooked with a lovely richness due to the olive oil, and only a slight hint of chilli passed the palate.

Spaghetti allo scoglio, $30

I was worried that Cupcake Girl did not have enough vegetables to sustain herself with, so we ordered a side of roasted potatoes.  The potatoes were oven roasted with garlic and rosemary.  Cheesecake Boy really enjoyed this side as the flavours of the garlic and rosemary were so prominent.  However, I wished the wedges of potato were crispier on the outside as the flesh was so fluffy.

Patate arrosto all 'aglio e timo, $12

Cupcake Girl's margherita pizza was served and it was the usual tomato base with fresh buffalo mozzarella, basil, Parmesan and olive oil to finish. 

Margherita, $20

Dumpling Sister ordered the Enopizza.  This pizza definitely had a couple of unique aspects to it.  The first thing you notice is the little crust pocket on this pizza that holds the rocket and shaved Parmesan in on one side.  I thought the pocket of crust was a great idea, especially for someone like me who can be fickle about her feelings towards rocket on a given day.  The rest of the other toppings of buffalo mozzarella, prosciutto and cherry tomatoes are served on the pizza in a conventional manner.  However, there is a surprise in store...

Enopizza, $24

The crust pocket of this pizza is actually stuffed crust with provola cheese and ham.  However, there was more ham stuffed in this crust than smoky cheese.  I am still amused by this novel concept on a gourmet pizza, I mean just think of all the great combinations you could have in a stuffed crust.

Cross section of stuffed crust of provola cheese and ham

Cheeesecake Boy ordered the Gustosa pizza that was topped with Italian sausage, mixed mushroom, onions, tomato sauce, mozzarella, shaved Parmesan and a touch of truffle oil.  Out of all the pizzas we had ordered, the combination of this pizza with the richness of the sausage and lovely mushrooms was my favourite.  Although the bases of the pizzas at EnoPizzeria are thin, I feel that the bases are quite limp and weighed down by the toppings.  Cheesecake Boy and I prefer our pizzas at Rosso Pomodoro with their thin and crispy bases and rich flavoursome toppings.

Gustosa, $24

No dessert action this time as there was a glorious birthday cake waiting for us.  However, there were quite a few tempting dessert options.  Cheesecake Boy and I really enjoyed our lunch at EnoPizzeria and so did the rest of my family.  We may not be tempted to come back for the pizzas, but we would definitely come back in a heart beat for the fantastic entrees and other mains on offer.  I mean how good does Milanese style veal cotoletta with some suppli al telefono (fried rice balls stuffed beef ragu with cheese) sound.  Sounds pretty blissful to me.

Dining away, Dumpling Girl.

Shop 5
10 Grosvenor Street
Neutral Bay NSW 2089
Ph: (02) 9953 0022

Enopizzeria on Urbanspoon


Jen said...

Looks like a sophisticated place. I agree, Rosso Pomodoro is the best! ;)

joey@forkingaroundsydney said...

The pizzas look fab! And happy b'day to Dumpling Mummy! :-)

Joseph said...

The pizza looks great! , just how i like them thin with not too much topping. I want to try the margherita pizza...

Dumpling Girl said...

Hey Jen, lol Rosso Pomodoro is definitely the best :D

Aww, Joey that's really nice of you. Thank you.

Hi Joseph, I love thin pizza's too with minimal topping as well.

chopinandmysaucepan said...

The duck pate looks fab and it reminds me of the beautiful chicken pate in Cafe Sopra. Is the porchetta served cold? It reminds me of terrine which I'm not a big fan of. Hehe, I sometimes need a few stiff drinks when my in-laws are in town :) Happy birthday to Mummy Dumpling :)

Dumpling Girl said...

Hi chopin, the duck pate was wonderful. The porchette was warm but leaning towards room temperature but not cold like a terrine. Lol, Cheesecake Boy does not have much luck as my mum is always in town, I think the siblings at times make us all need a stiff drink :) Thanks she had a great birthday.

Ladybird said...

Oooh now I 'm craving pizza so bad, as well as those scrumptious looking veg croquettes - yum!

Looks like good authentic pizza.. nothing beats a good Margharita!

Dumpling Girl said...

Hello Ladybird, the croquettes were definitely swoon worthy :)

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

The food looks really good! I adore porchetta and my mouth started watering at your close up shot of it! :D

Dumpling Girl said...

Hi Lorraine, the porchetta was great, definitely recommend it.