I've been eager to try this place for quite some time now so when I got home from work the other day and it was proposed that we give it a go I grabbed the camera and off we went. Not before calling the restaurant to see if they could fit us in, of course. This place really gets pumping. Ten minutes later and we're greeted as we enter the restaurant and offered a choice of tables for two and as I'm already aware of how dark this place gets at night I quickly chose the one by the counter next to the table lamp.
Menu choices are brief yet sufficient and neither of us could pass up the great value $49 three course option. It all sounds good and once our choices are made were given a couple of slices of warm bread and grassy olive oil. I've got to commend the speed of the kitchen as within five minutes of placing our order we're given our starters. Are we being rushed here? At this point in time it didn't matter because I was more captivated by the gorgeous aroma of my truffled potato gnocchi (17). I don't think I've ever had such melt-in-the-mouth gnocchi before, even in Italy. The creamy sauce, the truffle oil and the shaved parmigiano made it as rich as hell but I relished every mouthful.
As we tucked tucked into our starters a strange thing happened. I don't see it very often but the reaction Mr K had to his tortellini filled with duck (17) caught me off guard. His eyes glazed over and his world went silent. I was tempted to snap my fingers in front of his face but before I could do so he whispered the words "oh, my, god". Lucky for me I got to try one of the five beautiful little dumplings and while I didn't have the same reaction I found it very delicious. Tasty chunks of tender duck in soft pastry and the pool of butter they swam in had just enough balsamic and sage to cut through the oiliness.
The main event brought us the barramundi roasted with asparagus (27) and the roast fillet of beef (27). Having only four choices of mains should make it easy but I was tossing up between pumpkin, gorgonzola & walnut risotto and the beef. I went with the beef. Glad I did. The pancetta-wrapped fillet is deceptively small but ends up being just the right size. It's cooked more rare than medium rare, but I'm good with that. A generous dollop of buttery mash and some very garlicy wilted spinach and I'm rubbing my belly with glee.
Opposite me I'm observing the other half immensely enjoying their roasted hunk of barramundi topped with salsa verde and pangrattata (bread crumbs tossed in garlic oil). There's blanched asparagus on the side for a bit of crunch and colour.
Desserts were not needed, but wanted. The warm chocolate pudding (12) could have done with a little more oven time. I'm familiar with the concept of a gooey centre but this particular one only had a 5mm crust and about a cup of uncooked batter. It was more like a runny mousse. The strawberry compote that came with it is delicious.
The winning dessert was the one I chose. The fried pedro ximénez & cinnamon ice cream parcel (12). This little beauty contains raisins that have been macerated in sweet Spanish sherry, mixed through cinnamon icecream, wrapped in Tunisian pastry and gently pan-fried. The hot and cold sensations are out of this world and the crispy caramelised corners of the pastry are my favourite part. Truly amazing.
I can't believe we've left it this long to actually get to Soffritto. The food we had was very impressive, the service is great yet I have just one gripe. Sitting by the counter/service area had us within earshot of a certain staff member expressing opinions of food bloggers and other customers behaviours. If that's considered ok then I'd suggest they increasing the music volume so none of us have to listen to it.Soffritto367 King StreetNewtown 20429565 4660Tues-Sat 6pm-latesoffritto.com.aubyo corkage $4 / bottle