Monday 21 December 2015

First impressions of the Launceston food scene

Last weekend, Dave and I flew down to Launceston, which as of January will be our new home! Of course at the top of my priority list was sussing out the food scene.

Here's a snapshot of a few places we visited:

1. Dinner at Calabrisella

After flying in at about 5pm, picking up our rental car and checking into our hotel, we were quite peckish, so we gladly accepted a few recommendations from the hotel staff before heading out.  We tried to get a table at The Jailhouse Grill, then The Black Cow Bistro, however both were booked out, so we headed to another recommendation, a family-owned Italian restaurant called Calabrisella that has been running in Launceston for 36 years.

Immediately we were greeted by extremely friendly staff who were very attentive and brought our food swiftly. We started with a garlic pizza and some baked scallops to share, followed by a spaghetti marinara and a beef lasagne.

While it was a fairly casual Italian restaurant, the combination of friendly staff, excellent service and traditional, fresh Italian food definitely made it stay on my list of places to return to when we move to Launceston.

2. Breakfast at Cuccina

On Saturday we had a few house inspections lined up, so we wanted to get an early breakfast before heading off to our first inspection.  We wandered down the road from our hotel to Cuccina, where we both ordered the caramelised banana pancakes, as well as a couple of coffees. The coffee was fresh and well made, and the pancakes were sweet and fluffy with just the right amount of caramel sauce and sliced bananas.

3. Lunch at the Boag's Brewery

Dave was keen to try some local beers, so we headed to the Boag's Brewery for some beer tasting (well, cider for me) and lunch. Dave got the beer tasting paddle, I tried one of their ciders, and we shared a couple of pizzas - mushroom, olive and mozzarella; and salami and mozzarella.  Again, the staff here were extremely friendly (a common theme we noticed in Launceston) and the pizzas and drinks made the perfect simple lunch that we needed in between inspections.

4. Dinner at Still Water

A few days before our trip, it was actually our wedding anniversary, but as we weren't able to celebrate on the day, we decided to make a booking at Still Water, and were very glad we did.  Positioned right on the Tamar River, the restaurant has stunning views, not to mention incredible food.  We decided to share the "Chateaubriand" - a slow cooked beef fillet to share, with mushrooms and celeriac, broccolini gratin and smoked jus.

After the main course, I chose the dark chocolate and cherry dessert while Dave chose a white chocolate and peach version, both of which were a wonderful end to the meal.

From this brief snapshot of Launceston's cafe and restaurant scene, I think it's safe to say that I won't be disappointed by the culinary choices in Tassie.

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