Vanessa: Sometimes our quest for food takes us far and wide and one particular Saturday night, Team FFS found ourselves en-route to Dural to experience the local Italian Restaurant, Bel Fiore Wood-Fired Pizza. As you know, we hail from Italian origins and the benchmark has been set high thanks to our grandparents home cooking, meaning we tend to approach all Italian restaurants with a bit of trepidation.
When we arrived for our 6pm seating the restaurant was fairly quiet, when we left on the other hand it was heaving and I now understand why. We had entered into a hot spot, that is a clear favourite amongst the locals.
Bel Fiore’s menu showcases many of the traditional dishes you would expect to find at an Italian restaurant with a wide variety of pizza and pasta on offer.
We had brought “Mumma Squads” (aka Bianca and Alex’s mum) along with us, to be able to sample a range of dishes on offer, I dare say we may have gone a little overboard but it was all worth it!
We got the taste buds movings with a serve of the Bruschetta Pomodoro and the Bruschetta Prosciutto ($9.90 each). The crunchy bread was well coated in extra virgin olive oil,visible flakes of rock salt topped with a generous serve of tomatoes and prosciutto with shaved parmesan and balsamic. A great intro into Bel Fiore’s menu and definitely a good way to start off the meal.
Next up were the shared entrees and it is here that you may realise we got a little bit carried away!
We just can’t go past buratta when we see it on the menu so it was a no brainer for us. The generous 250g ball of buratta mozzarella ($29.90) was served with sliced Roma tomatoes, prosciutto and of course bread to mop up the cheesy liquid. The buratta was so fresh and oozed when cut into. The tomato and prosciutto made for the perfect accompaniment. I would definitely recommend ordering this dish as its fairly light but so full of flavour.
Zucchini flowers are also another go to dish and we were in luck that they were on the specials that evening. The crisp zucchini flowers were stuffed with a creamy ricotta filling, slightly salty, but ultra delicious. We also ordered a serve of the croquettes ($17.90) because why not really, at the stage the diet was well and truly out the window! Crispy exterior filled with a cheesy interior, made for a nice addition to our shared entrees.
Now before we moved on to our main course, the chef sent us a portion of the gnocchi pearl special which was a large singular gnocchi smothered in a rich, red sauce and topped with basil. It was filled with a creamy, ricotta filling and was truly delicious. It had me wishing I had ordered it for my main course. A really fantastic dish that showcased the Italian chefs culinary skills, who we were told that had brought over from Italy.
Alas, I had chosen to have the pancetta and panzanella salad ($18.90) which was laden with big chunks of toasted bread, juicy, vine-ripened tomatoes, spanish onions, cucumber, pancetta and generous splashes of balsamic and extra virgin olive oil. An absolutely delicious salad, though it’s not one you’d fine on the weight watchers diet. A very large serving that could be shared between two people.
Alex had chosen the Penne Ciccio ($24.90) that was bursting with San Daniele prosciutto, black olives, soft cheese, Spanish onion in a napoletana sauce. The flavour was bold and bites from the combination of prosciutto and cheese. Another hearty, generous serve that would be perfect served with a glass of vino rosso.
Bianca and Mumma squads shared the Il Bastardo ($25.90) with mozzarella cheese, napoletana base, pepperoni, mushrooms and smoked scamorza cheese. The pizza was wood-fired with a thin base and well-cooked crust. The carb loading was definitely in overdrive meaning very little of it was actually consumed, although the lovely staff at Bel Fiore packed up all that remained for us to take home.
We left feeling full but also really pleased to have discovered an Italian Restaurant that was serving up such authentic and delicious cuisine to its local, and I’m guessing loyal, clientele. It is evident that a lot of emphasis is placed on quality of ingredients and preparing dishes that truly reflect Italian cuisine. The service was attentive, even when the restaurant was at peak service times and the staff were very friendly.
It is easy to see why this unassuming, family run restaurants draws them in. If you happen to find yourself in or near Dural and in the mood for a hearty Italian meal, Bel Fiore is your place! Best to call ahead to ensure you reserve a seat during busy times over the weekend.