Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Osteria dei Poeti, Glebe Pt Rd, Glebe

Osteria dei Poeti, Glebe Pt Rd, Glebe
Tuesday 26 June, 2007

This place has so much potential..............from the kitsch interior with a wall size map of Italy, art deco lamps, candelabras, place mats with foodies quotes, Italian chef/ owner, Italian speaking staff and a menu full of recipes from family in Sicily. What happened???
The restaurant owners describe the place as, 'An 'osteria', meaning inn or tavern, is the Italian version of a French bistro, where locals can go to eat good, hearty food and not pay the equivalent of three months' mortgage. Osteria dei Poeti has bought this great tradition to the inner west so that poets, and those less able to rhyme, have somewhere to hang out and eat well. They're all coming for the simple, rustic fare, such as handmade cannelloni, pickled sardines, and lamb stewed with prunes to warm the soul and fill the stomach.'
Our experience tonight was so disappointing. We poured over the menu reading out the enticing descriptions and labouring over the choices. From the specials to the stock standard Italian dishes everything sounded great. Our Italian waiter charmed us with his accent and we forgot for a moment that we were on Glebe Pt Rd and it was raining outside.
After ordering some garlic bread for the table I couldn't go past the Timballa alla Siciliana - Aurelio's (owner) sister who lives in Sicily prepares this dish for special occasions - oven baked pasta with egg, peas, meat ragu, eggplant, tomato, pine nuts, raisins, mozzarella & percorino cheese. My dinner buddies went for the Flathead fillets rolled in gremolata & parmesan; baked veal and tube pasta with meatballs.
Once 15 mins had past we asked our hovering waiter for the garlic bread. He disappeared for a short minute then returned to the table and in his charming accent explained that the kitchen had forgotten. We really were in Italy and we were being served on Italian time............ it took me back to my Italian trip last year where the staff would just shrug their shoulders and casually explain that the chef was very busy and our meals would be out shortly. This could mean anything from 15 mins to one hour.
Thankfully the garlic bread arrived within another 5 mins but what we received was very poor. One plate was browned and crispy with garlic paste on top and the other was barely warm with more garlic paste smeared over the top. This was quickly followed by our main meals.
By sight they all looked fantastic and were piping hot. However, the reality was very different. My dish was placed in front of one of my dinner buddies and passed off as the veal. Shortly afterwards the waiter returned and explained that this dish was actually my pasta - oops! To give credit where credit is due the flathead fillets were the standout - they were lightly crumbed and the fish was light and incredibly tasty. By comparison my Timballa alla Siciliana was barely edible - it was cold-ish towards the middle and the tomato sauce around the side was steaming hot indicating that it had been prepared in the microwave. My other dinner buddies described their veal as tough and overcooked and the tube pasta as really average. What a shame! We had such high hopes for this cute little tavern.

To apologise for the delay with the garlic bread our waiter delivered four shots of Limoncello to the table which we gladly accepted. After requesting the bill our waiter tried to entice us to stay and order dessert but we already had a plan in place.....let's ditch Osteria dei Poeti and make our way to Cafe Otto.

Osteria dei Poeti - 73 Glebe Pt Rd, Glebe - (02) 9571 8955


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