Saturday 28 July 2018

Ettie's Italian Restaurant, Hobart

One of my all time favourite cuisines has to be Italian. As a child, my family would regularly go to a local Italian restaurant for dinner, and I would look forward to the amazing range of fresh pastas, antipasti, pizzas and seafood on the menu, not to mention the incredibly delicious gelato misto that I would, without fail, order for dessert each time. After studying Italian at university, my love of the cuisine grew even more, and one of my favourite things to do is scout out authentic Italian restaurants in various cities.

So, when reading some reviews of Hobart's best restaurants recently, the name Ettie's popped up a few times, so Dave and I decided to check it out last weekend. Located on Elizabeth St in Hobart's CBD, the entrance to the restaurant holds a bar area, leading out to a large dining area. As Dave was running a bit late from work, I decided to order an Aperol Spritz and peruse the menu while waiting for him to arrive.

We decided to order a few dishes to share (along with some Italian red wine) - the octopus with potatoes, capers and aioli; the fettuccine bolognese, the steak frites with dijon mustard, and a side of carrots with labneh and almonds.

After being served some deliciously fresh bread to nibble on, we were brought the first dish of octopus. The octopus was very fresh and tender, and the tartness of the capers and aioli paired with the smooth potatoes was a lovely start to the meal - not too heavy, but filling enough. We were then brought the fettuccine bolognese - the pasta was fresh and cooked al dente, the bolognese was wonderfully slow cooked, and the parmesan and crispy breadcrumb topping was a beautiful addition to this dish.

The steak frites was brought to the table next - it was served sliced and was the perfect balance of being lean but still juicy and tender. We were glad that we chose the dijon mustard as an accompaniment to the meal, and the sweet carrots with the creamy labneh yoghurt and crunchy almonds complimented the not-so-healthy (but delicious) fries that came with the steak.

For dessert, Dave couldn't go past the creme caramel, while I went for the chocolate mousse with pear and almond. We also decided to get a couple of the salted caramels to round off the meal. The creme caramel was beautifully creamy and delicate, and the chocolate mousse was wonderfully dark and rich, but balanced well with the poached pears served on top. The salted caramel fudge was a great way to give our sweet tooths just that little bit extra dessert for a Friday night.

Ettie's is one of those places where you feel like you have stepped off the streets of Hobart and into a beautiful trattoria in Italy. The slight deviation away from your traditional pizzas and pastas that you might find on another Italian menu certainly doesn't detract from the authenticity of this restaurant, and the combination of fresh flavours with Italian charm makes for a wonderful dining experience.

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