I love Italian food and the recent spate of perfect Spring days was just screaming out for a lovely lunch. So GG and I decided we’d finally get ourselves to Il Lido in Cottesloe over the long weekend. Located on Marine Parade it overlooks the stunning Cottesloe beach, which had a lot more brave bodies in the water than I had anticipated on a day in the mid 20s. I say brave because the temp would likely have to be a good 10 degrees higher for me to think about swimming. I like the land.
But ocean swimming aside…..when we arrived for our booking a touch after 12 the brunching crowd was just finishing up, so the main dining section still had plenty of seats. I like the long bench set up, along with the old school tin water jugs and bright bundles of Australian flora adorning the tables.
We kicked things off with a glass of prosecco, because when in an Italian restaurant do as the Italians do I suppose? I’m really not sure but fizz on a public holiday Monday just felt right. It was time then to focus on food and with no menu for me to pre study online, all I knew was that they were said to do great gnocchi.
We decided we’d share everything and went with a selection of cold cuts and a buffalo mozzarella entrée. If you haven’t had buffalo mozzarella before and you spy it on a menu then do yourself a favour and give it a whirl. It is an amazing cheese, one of the very best, so indulgently creamy.
Antipasti – Salumi served with grissini and giardiniera ($30)
- Proscuitto di san daniele
Buzzalo mozzarella, orange, basil, black pepper ($16)
Our shared starters arrived swiftly and I thought the servings of cured meats were on the generous side. GG picked the prosciutto as his favourite but I didn’t mind the bresaola. Actually they were all lovely, in their own unique way. I also thoroughly enjoyed the pickled veggies ‘giardiniera’, especially the fennel. Pickled fennel is just delicious! I think it’s because there’s some sweetness to the fennel, which offsets nicely against the zesty vinegar from the pickling. It went really well with the lovely cured meats. Yum!
The buffalo mozzarella did not disappoint and was brilliantly paired with the slightly tart citrus, which we thought could have been grapefruit instead of orange, but either way it was a perfect pairing, all the more so with the sprinkle of basil greenery and an indulgent drizzle of good olive oil. Mamma Mia! Such fresh flavours and while on paper a relatively simple combination, but put together in a well balanced array it was a stunner!
Onto our mains and we’d decided to continue with the shared affair and ordered two of the pasta options , the Potato gnocchi, roast tomato, basil, parmesan ($29) and Linguine, crab, tomato, chilli, lemon, fennel ($34). We also switched to a nice Italian red at this point and I loved the Il Lido glassware. Such a cute decanter and actually quite practical with finger holes to make it easier to hold.
Now there was a slight mix up when our two dishes arrived and the gnocchi was accidentally the risotto, but I was very impressed with the smooth swiftness that this was remedied. While we waited for the gnocchi we began eagerly swirling linguine onto our forks. It was so good! The pasta itself was al dente perfection and the pieces of crab were plentiful and I just loved the punchy combination of chilli, lemon and fennel. There was a delicate balance to all the ingredients and it combined for a real taste sensation. I almost wished we had a slice or two of bread to savour the remaining skerricks of sauce. It was that good, too good to leave behind!
The gnocchi arrived just as we finished on the linguine. It smelt amazing, with rich aromas of tomato and Parmesan. The gnocchi was pillowy soft, just melted in your mouth. The tomatoey sauce was lovely and they’d been very generous with the grated cheese on top, but for both of us the lnguine was the preferred dish. Just something about the depth of flavour in that first pasta dish that left us wanting more. But don’t get me wrong it was a tough choice because it was very good gnocchi.
I thoroughly enjoyed my first visit to Il lido. Prime position opposite Cottesloe beach, friendly staff and tasty Italian food. It fit the bill perfectly for the long weekend lunch venue I was chasing. Bellissimo!