Saturday 16 July 2016

An evening of ragu, beef cheeks and chocolate fondant

You know those Sundays where you plan on cooking a lovely, fresh meal to get you set for the week ahead, then it comes to Sunday afternoon, and all you feel like doing is heading off to a local restaurant for someone else to cook you a delicious (and not so healthy) meal? Well I had one of those Sundays last weekend.

Having met up with a friend for coffee in the afternoon who was telling me about a recent meal she had at Cataract on Paterson, as soon as I got home and told Dave about this, we called the restaurant and a few minutes later we had a booking for 6pm. Winner.

Cataract on Paterson is about a 4 minute drive from home, so it definitely ticks the convenience box, especially as it is freezing at the moment in Launceston. We were able to get a parking spot right outside the front door, which was even better.

Starting off with a glass of pinot noir, we read through the extensive menu for a few minutes before deciding on an entree to share and a main meal each. For the entree, we chose the crispy potato skins with crispy bacon, melted cheddar cheese, smoky maple bbq sauce and sour cream. For mains, I couldn't go past the Tasmanian beef ragu with rosemary, bacon and mushroom served on papardelle pasta. Dave decided to go with the 'surprise me' dish - a surprise creation from the chef, which ended up being slow cooked beef cheeks with pureed potato, caramelised onions and broccolini.

I think we chose the perfect meal for a winter's evening - the crispy potatoes were an excellent comfort food with which to start the meal, and both the beef ragu and beef cheeks were extremely flavoursome and tender. The servings are very generous as well, so we could have skipped the entree (though those potato skins are definitely worth trying).

Despite the size of the meals, our dessert stomachs still had some room, and I knew from the outset that I wasn't leaving without trying the chocolate fondant with marshmallows, strawberries and vanilla bean ice cream. Dave ended up choosing the 'pan-ookie', which is essentially a choc-chip cookie served in a small pan with vanilla bean ice cream and crumble on top.

I am very pleased that this restaurant is only minutes from home, as there is no doubt that we will be back soon to sample even more of the incredible items on the menu. Following this restaurant on Instagram has certainly made me crave another visit soon.

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