Restaurants have come and gone, and there’s definitely a lot more pulled pork on plates now than there was in the 90s.
One restaurant that has remained a constant is Mariosarti, which has been a stalwart of Toowong, for over 20 years.
Recently though, Mariosarti has been placed under the care of a brand new owner. So does its food still stand the test of time?
Let’s find out.
We decided to start our meal the Italian way with a serve of Pana di Casa: Crusty Ciabatta with First Press Olive Oil, Confit Garlic and Truffled Parmesan Butter.
This ciabatta was beautifully presented on a board with herbs and flowers. This board illustrated the perfect blend of authentic, rustic eating with fine dining. The truffled parmesan butter was just as decadent as it sounded, and the added layer of confit garlic just added a whole new level of richness to each bite.
From the entrée menu we also shared the Capesanta: Grilled Canadian Diver Scallops with Celeriac Puree, Smoked Pineapple, Lychee and Basil Dressing.
These were genuinely amazing. The firm texture of the scallops denoted their freshness, and the dressing contained such a gorgeous blend of flavours that worked to accentuate the taste of the scallops without smothering them. A nice thoughtful touch was when the scallops came out on two slate boards to make sharing easier for us.
This was winter eating at its best. The pork scaloppini was grilled perfectly with a lovely caramelisation that didn’t affect the tenderness of the meat. It was lifted by the lemon butter sage sauce which was extremely moreish.
We also ordered the Anatra al Marsala: Sicilian Spiced Confit Grimaud Duck Leg, Celeriac Puree, Baby Vegetables and Marsala Jus.
I’m usually a sucker for duck on a menu and I wasn’t disappointed by this dish. The array of subtle spices on the duck was really lovely and complimented by the marsala jus. The celeriac puree was lighter than your standard potato mash but still very much a winter warmer comfort food. It was delish.
For a side we had the Insalata Rucola: Wild Rocket, Fresh Poached Pear and Reggiano in a House Made Lemon Dressing. The thin slices of poached pear were lovely in this simple salad, which had a generous amount of Reggiano scattered throughout.
Unsurprisingly, the wine list at Mariosarti is thoughtfully crafted with a good mix of Australian and Italian wines dominating the list. The by the glass section included some carefully-considered bottles including a Montepulciano a Sangiovese and a Pecorino as well as all the usual suspects.
We were highly recommended the Tiramisu so I couldn’t not order this. It comprised of Mascarpone with Amaretto Zabaglione between layers of Espresso Soaked Sponge Fingers and Whipped Cream.
My expectations had been set high for this dish which is always dangerous. Not like fork-in-an-electric-socket dangerous, but there was a dangerous possibility for disappointment. There was nothing to fear though, as the nuanced flavours that permeated the zabaglione in this tiramisu cemented it as some of the best in town for me. Creamy and decadent, I loved every mouthful.
We also had the Fragole Grappa Vetri: Glazed Strawberries, Blood Orange Sorbet, Brandy and Basil Reduction and Toasted Almonds.
Brandy and Basil sounded like an interesting combination that could very easily have gone wrong. Not here though. The reduction absolutely made this dessert. It was amazingly good and worked wonderfully with the slight tartness of the strawberries and the sweet sorbet.
Small thoughtful touches to the dishes here don’t go unnoticed and work to create a dining experience that I’ve been raving about for days afterwards.
I guess this really is a meal that stands the test of time.