Rigoni’s Bistro

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date of visit:  Friday 11 November 2011

Our last visit to Rigoni’s Bistro was over a year ago.  We returned on Friday night for a very quick pre-Christmas party dinner, just the two of us.  The restaurant doesn’t start dinner service until 6pm so that’s when we arrived. There were quite a few people outside the restaurant having drinks and, indoors, a handful of tables had couples (mostly) seated at them.

This was a rather business like meal, and I’d been fantasising about the linguini di tartufo bianco con aragosta ever since I’d read the online menu. Yes, that’s white truffle linguini with marron. That was all I was going to order – and god help them if they’d run out of it! Andy had to read the menu (well, that gave me time to drink my glass of Prosecco) and decided on the lavender salted chicken with prosciutto, sage and provolone on white polenta. While we waited for our food, there was plenty of opportunity to check out what people around us were eating, finish our drinks and eat the bread, served with olive oil and a type of pesto. This alone gives Rigoni’s a massive tick from me, because I have a bit of a horror of the ubiquitous olive oil with a puddle of balsamic vinegar floating in it.

Our food arrived and the portions were really generous. The pasta dish, in particular, was large and smelly – smelly in a good, truffly way.

Finger bowl to hand, I munched my way through my marrons and the pasta and turned down the opportunity to try some of Andy’s chicken (I’m informed it was good, I just wasn’t interested in stopping motoring through my plate of food!). The dish was lovely – truffly, buttery, crunchy white asparagus, with fresh dill through it adding an aniseedy kick to the seafood. The pasta looked like it was made in house – in places it had rather clumped together (disappointing, but I was enjoying the overall dish so much it was forgivable). I thought it was cooked perfectly but I realise for some people my “perfect” is “underdone”.

The only problem with our meal on Friday night was … the price. Of course, a huge plate of anything involving truffles and marron isn’t going to be cheap and my dish was $40. Andy’s chicken was $34. Add in a couple of drinks each and the bread and the bill hit over $100 which is a lot of money to spend on a quick meal before a night out. Thanks to the Entertainment Book, we actually paid $85, which, for just one course each, is still pretty expensive. In terms of the quality of the food, it’s definitely worth it. The service is also good – I booked at the last minute (and I’d recommend booking) and I was told while on the phone that they did have a table for us but it was rebooked for 7:30pm. Much better to know that type of thing up front than be surprised on the night. And all the staff who served us on Friday night were pleasant, competent and unintrusive.

So save up your trip to Rigoni’s – go when you are feeling a little flush, and take the time to have a proper meal there (that’s at least two courses). Delicious!

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