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Maybe its my time living in Australia and thus a soft spot for the underdog or maybe it was the romance of the little white Christmas lights outside that drew us into the Italian place for dinner.

note this is not the actual restaurant.

We’ve walked by here several times with no one ever in there but nonetheless they continue to put out their little chalkboards.  Waiters in their crisply pressed shirts and black aprons smile by the window as you walk by and tonight we just couldn’t let them down and in we went.

We had the place to ourselves and it was quiet with lovely mellow lighting and white table cloths with candles.  I ordered the cheese risotto and Luke had carbonara.  Everything was made fresh and the chef was incredible in that he cooked without making hardly any noticeable sound despite it being an open kitchen.

The food arrived looking and smelling fabulous – we dug in.  My first realization was that somehow even at an Italian restaurant I was still having rice for dinner…again.  The second part of this realization was that it was Japanese rice and not the risotto rice and then finally, that it tasted pretty much like black pepper that had been generously ground all over the top.  Luke’s carbonara was also black pepper flavored.

Somehow though, despite the food being slightly off mark, we kinda fell for this little place and were having such a good time and enjoying the service we decided to share some ‘homemade gelato’ for dessert.  I chose the honey flavor after a bit of confusion with the menu and out came two perfectly formed scoops of ice cream, gently placed on a little pile of sugar each…  They tasted like cheese.  Good cheese, but cheese nonetheless… definitely not honey.

Just goes to show though, what excellent service and lovely ambiance plus fantastic company can do. We’ll be back, but next time we may try the pizza.