Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Otto Ristorante, Sydney

In doing some research on vegan dining in Sydney, I kept coming across mentions of the omnivorous Otto Ristorante, as they have a separate vegan menu on hand every night. Since it was walking distance from our hotel (a lovely stroll through the Botanic Gardens) we decided to check it out, and boy am I glad we did.

I started with this refreshing salad of arugula, peaches, and pine nuts in a slightly sweet vinaigrette that had a perfect sweet/tangy balance. Can you tell it is summer in Sydney? Such a lovely way to start a meal... and we were sitting outside in the sun too. So nice!

The husband started his meal with this dish of beautiful fried squash blossoms, which he happily shared, lucky me. For being fried, these were light and crispy, not to mention mouth watering. The acid of the tomato/roasted pepper/olive salad was a nice contrast too.

For my main dish I had the pea risotto. This verdant bowl of goodness was chock full of pea flavor without being overly starchy. Nicely seasoned and deeply hued, it was feel good food on a summer evening. Loved it.

For a delightfully sweet, but not too heavy, ending, we enjoyed some lemon sorbet and summer fruit compote. It was bursting with the flavors of the season... but it was the one dish I expected more out of. I mean, Otto, if you're already going out of your way to have a separate vegan menu, why are you giving me a dessert I could get at any omni restaurant? Oh well, it was still tasty, and the meal as a whole was a winner. I can still feel the sun on my face as we sat along the wharf and enjoyed our evening. Ahh, vacation.

Next up, we make our way across the country and discover some 'outback' eats worth writing home about!

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