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Food/wine/coffee

Food/wine/coffee

By Law Institute Journal

Opinions 

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Food

Grossi Florentino/Grossi a casa

https://www.grossiacasa.com/

Grossi in Bourke Street has been a restaurant on my bucket list for some years now, and what better way to tick it off than at home, on the day that the Victorian premier has announced a two-week extension of stage 4 restrictions.

Having forsaken middlemen such as Providore and Uber Eats, Grossi runs their own delivery service with a flat $15 fee to ferry your goodies anywhere within a 35km radius of the CBD, or in Mornington. Pickup is also available. Better still, Grossi offers deliveries Monday to Saturday, meaning that our impulse order on Sunday afternoon is on our doorstep less than 24 hours later.

For starters we have arancini ($14 for 4), which are gold standard balls of saffron risotto, perfectly textured and seasoned, with an oozing centre of mozzarella, the cured meat selection ($28) comprising an excellent array of prosciutto, mild and hot salami, and pickled vegetables, and fava bean dip ($10), which is a very generously portioned, but slightly underwhelming, creamy puree, served with crostini, as are the cured meats.

Next up is an outstanding herb and almond crusted barramundi ($42 for 2), in which the fish is perfectly cooked in the specified time, topped with a buttery crust, and sitting on a bed of wonderful cavalo nero and other toothsome vegetables. We also have lasagne ($30 for 500g which is enough for two very hungry people) which has a standout ragu, nicely balanced with piquante tomato and wine, a creamy bechamel, and pasta which has unfortunately gone a little mushy on the journey. Finally, we have gnocchi and spiced veal ragu ($34 for two hungry people), with nicely al dente gnocchi, and a delicious chunky sauce, again well balanced with tomato.

All dishes are generously portioned – making the meal very good value – and come with clear and simple instructions.

We end the meal with cannoli ($18 for 4), which are chocolate flavoured, and filled (by us) with candied fruit studded ricotta, and garnished with pistachio crumbs. Piping the ricotta into the shells after too many home-mixed negronis is a challenge but worth the effort.

While a meal in the grand Grossi dining room in Bourke Street remains high on my culinary to-dos, I would highly recommend that you take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy it at home. ■

Shaun Ginsbourg is a hungry barrister.

Coffee

Degani Cafe

https://degani.com.au/

Like all cafe chains, the menu at Degani is designed around one size fits all. Deviating from typical latte offerings might not be for those without an extra sweet tooth and in my case lead to a sugar headache. The coffee can also pack a caffeine punch. The bakery food menu varies between franchises but those hoping to satisfy their hunger at one of the drive-throughs might consider starving it out until something worth the spend comes along. For the purposes of getting a caffeine fix, I recommend giving a cheaper option such as 7-Eleven a chance. After all, caffeine is caffeine, regardless of the brew. 

AR

Wine

Bottle of Paracombe Pinot Noir Chardonnay sparkling 2018

Paracombe Pinot Noir Chardonnay sparkling 2018

RRP $35

We need celebratory drinks more than ever this year. Now, we can enjoy a fine sparkling wine and do some good at the same time. Paracombe vineyard's sparkling wines always shine. Here, the 2018 (under crown seal to prevent cork taint) showing its pinot influence with a pale blush, opens with dusty citrus, lemongrass and shortbread. Love the creamy texture and the generous flavour with chardonnay-influenced peach and nectarine. Sustained palate. Fulfils aperitif role well. Enjoy with truffle gougeres.

Stockist: www.paracombewines.com.au, Divino Cellars, McCoppins Food & Wine Hawthorn and Tom Pockett Cellars.

Bottle of Kerri Greens Mornington Peninsula Murra Pinot Noir 2019

Kerri Greens Mornington Peninsula Murra Pinot Noir 2019

RRP $32

The next generation of two well-known winemaking families is quietly getting a lot of people excited under its Kerri Greens label. Tom McCarthy (Quealy Winemakers) and Lucas Blanck (Domaine Paul Blanck) pursue low intervention, sustainable growing and winemaking practices. Here, Red Hill fruit charms with a subtle but intriguing allure from the lifted aromatic scent of red berries, lavender, dried herbs and musk through to the lightly textural palate. Open with antipasto.

Stockists: www.kerrigreens.com, Rathdowne Cellars Carlton, Fine Wine Merchant Mt Eliza and Independent Wine Store Rye.

Bottle of Buller Wines Balladeer Rutherglen Durif 2018

Bleasdale Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2019

RRP $30

We know Bleasdale as a Langhorne Creek producer and a predominantly red winemaker, but here it shows its chardonnay credentials. Not bad at all. Inviting bouquet like the scent of the ocean, mineral, baked apple and nectarine. Alcohol reading says 12.5 per cent but it certainly packs a lot of flavour in a finer frame plush in stone fruits, juicy grapefruit, vanilla bean soft oakiness and almond nut. Acidity is bright and crunchy.

Open with chicken ballotine.

Stockist: www.bleasdale.com.au


Jeni Port is a Melbourne wine writer, author and judge.


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