As soon as a southerly brings in the hint of a winter chill, Gold Coasters looks for the opportunity to enjoy some winter fare. Out with salads! In with some comfort food! We may need to be prised out of our armchairs to dine out on cold winter nights, but many of us are partial to a leisurely lunch soaking up a bit of sunshine!
So, an invitation to indulge in some of Ristorante Fellini’s more hearty dishes is a delight! Situated at Marina Mirage with an unhindered view over the marina and Broadwater, Fellini shows off the very best of the Gold Coast lifestyle. It’s a perfect spot for lunch – almost too good a view to concentrate on making meal choices!
Firstly, there’s a chance to relax and enjoy the view. Restaurant Partner Raffaele Di Benedetto suggests a wine – Pra Soave Otto from the Italy’s Veneta region. It’s one of the new generation of soave, aromatic with floral fruit and mineral overtones. Well balanced with medium-bodied flavours, it’s well matched with the entrées, and perfect to accompany lunch.
After an amuse bouche of Mango and lime sorbet, we enjoy a tasting plate of entrées. This gives us the opportunity to experience four different dishes: succulent sliced Veal tonnata, Calamari with fennel salad, Air dried beef and (my favourite) Tempura Zucchini flower filled with spanned crab meat. Great idea, Chef Richard! No meal envy, just pure indulgence!
The decision by Fellini to re-design the menu for each season allows diners to experience the different tastes of Italy, while making the most of seasonal produce. Fellini’s winter dishes feature fennel, spinach and wild mushrooms; the generously sized meals are served with silky vegetable purées and the shiny glaze of rich jus.
We choose mains of Anatra Arrosto (Double-roasted half duck served on a roasted vegetable purée) and the Rollata di Vitello (Veal tenderloin, wrapped in pancetta and oven-roasted, served with sautéed fresh wild mushrooms). Both dishes are deliciously dressed in a reduced jus, the duck with sage and the veal with a truffle infused cream.
Other mains include Tatiara lamb rack, Char-grilled south Australian Coorong beef tenderloin, and Chicken Saltimbocca. These mains are complemented by Ristorante Fellini’s own signature pasta, (tagliatelle with sautéed green prawns in garlic and chilli, ravioli filled with slow roasted duck and vegetables or spiral pasta cooked with fresh smoked salmon), which you may choose to have ‘Italian style’ before your main.
For dessert, the Semifreddo with hazelnut is a perfect choice. Just sweet enough, its sugar is balanced by boozy prunes and liqueur-soaked strawberries. Yum! Then Chef Richard sends out his latest addition to the menu: a Chocolate and gold ingot. The combination of berries and chocolate is classic, but who else gets to eat gold leaf while overlooking multi-million dollar yachts!
This dessert caps off a ‘Gold Class’ lunch – superb food, impeccable service, and sweeping views of the Gold Coast’s waterways. We’ve dined like royalty in one of the few Australian restaurants officially recognised by the Italy-based Eccellenze Italiane Registry as an ‘Eccellenze Italiane Certified Company’ for 2014.
Truly excellent Italian cuisine!
Level 1, Marina Mirage, 74 SeaWorld Drive, Main Beach Ph: 07 5531 0300
Good Food Gold Coast was a guest of Ristorante Fellini.