[invite] Vanessa: Over the past few months, I have found myself exploring much more of what Elizabeth Bay and its surrounds has to offer by way of dining. Our latest venture to Culina Et Vinum, the Latin term translating to “Kitchen and Wine”, was the destination for a leisurely Sunday lunch for Bianca and I.
The dining room has a cosy feel to it with its dark tones and wooden seating which makes for a great place to settle in for a few hours. The kitchen is visible which is a favourite feature of mine at any restaurant. I love to watch the chefs at work and admire their skill, it gives a further appreciation to the meal I feel.
Equally, the bar shows off the impressive collection of wines on offer and further creates an inviting feel. The wine list is extensive and diverse.
The salumi board ($25) offers a range of cured meats and house pickles. This is a perfect accompaniment to a glass of wine and option for sharing.
That day the special was baked figs with gorgonzola and toasted hazelnuts. The figs were plump and ripe however the cheese was a little overpowering for our taste.
There was one item on the menu I was curious to try and so glad we did. The lamb tomahawks ($36) are somewhat of a signature dish and served alongside Jerusalem artichokes, fried sprouts, rosemary & anchovy dressing. These were wonderfully succulent and had a cave-man novelty factor! The fried sprouts were deliciously crunchy with the right amount of salt.
The crushed and roasted chat potatoes ($10) just get a big, fat YES from us. Crispy on the outside, soft and pillowy on the inside with the right mount of oil and rosemary. They are no brainer and it’s hard to control the intake!
Although I had high hopes for the gnocchi with vegetable ragu ($25), I found the vegetable- to-gnocchi ratio to be off. I can’t say I particularly enjoyed it mainly because I didn’t feel that the gnocchi stood out and they were a little too soft in texture for my liking.
Of course no weekend meal should be complete with out dessert so we tried the Chocolate Cigar with coffee crumbs and torched marshmallow. A very unique and creative dessert that allows you to take a bite of the chocolate filled cigar and dip it into the coffee crumbs as you go. Definitely more of a dish for one rather than a share option.
A very pleasant way to spend a few hours of a weekend in a relaxed, charming setting. The prices are average and I definitely recommend giving the tomahawk a try.