September is a favourite time of year. Spring is in the air, warmer weather and the prospect of longer days around the corner. It is also a month of birthday madness because we love having month long birthday celebrations, that's how we roll. It's an Empty Fridge thing. So to celebrate our beloved Gianna's birthday I thought it would be nice to have a Buzo birthday bash. We have both been wanting to come and check Buzo out for a long time so we were in luck that 'said' Princess had a birthday that fell on a quiet Monday night.
Upon entering and being seated we felt quite at ease. Buzo is a cosy and intimate place and what better way to capitalise on the mood but with a bottle of wine. Seeing as though it was Monday night there was no mucking about. I mean you have to have a drink on Monday to cope with the start of the work week. The wine list is quite extensive and well worth reading through as there are quite a number of really nice sounding wines. We ended up settling with a Blaufrankisch Austrian bottle. Such an easy drink that went well with the food that was to follow.
To get things started we ordered a bowl of warm sicilian green olives with fennel &lemon $8. Nothing gets a party started quite like olives. Sicilian olives are a favourite and we simply couldn't say no. Little round spheres of green salty goodness lathered in olive oil are quite addictive. Yum.
Carne crudo $20 was something that stood out on the menu for me. Whilst perusing through the menu; glancing over the words hand cut wagyu topside was burnt into my retinas. With oil, parsley, lemon and chunks of crostini it was most definitely on for young and old.
The dish was beautiful. A nice mound of nicely garnished wagyu was brought out and of course some nice pieces of crostini to eat it all up. There is a certain roughness and simplicity behind this dish that makes it a definite pick when seen on any menu. Whether it's called steak tartare, carne crudo or cruda, do yourself a favour and give the fresh dish a go at least once. You won't be dissapointed.
Deep fried chicken wings, chilli, garlic, parsley, fennel pollen & aged balsamico $20. Looking back I don't think under any circumstance this dish could've been avoided. Just thinking back and looking at the photos makes me hungry. Perfectly crispy skin, juicy chicken and beautiful seasoning made this an absolute winner. Combined with the aged balsamico made it even better. A really nice combination of flavours and really unexpected find in an Italian restaurant. Bravo I say.
It didn't really take long to demolish both the chicken and the carne crudo. The beautifully presented dishes had a very short lifespan on our table. They might look lovely sitting there but rest assured that it was absolute carnage afterward.
After getting through the starters it was time to sit back and have a sip of wine and take in the surroundings. The restaurant is split into an upstairs and downstairs dining room with both spaces being equally impressive. Downstairs is my favourite seeing as though its close to the kitchen and home to the wines that make up the impressive wine list. Dark timber and vintage Italian posters adorn the walls, it's realy hard not to not like Buzo. Wine, wine and more wine. The kitchen is just around the corner too.
Without any delay the mains had come. Both picks were from the pasta variety because they just sounded way to good to not have. The fist of which was the Vincisgrassi - porcini, mushroom, prosciutto, truffle & parmigiano lasagne $27. All that there is to be said is wow. Layers of perfectly cooked lasagna littered with mushroom and salty prosciutto with the taste of truffle dancing around your mouth. Without a doubt this would have to be up there in the top pasta dishes of all time and is a must have.
Another Empty Fridge habbit is to do with rabbit. If it's on the menu then it has to be had. Pappardelle, braised rabbit, sage & white wine ragu $27 was the weapon of choice to fulfil this habbit. Again, so so good. The pasta was cooked perfectly and the sauce was well balanced so the flavour of the rabbit wasn't lost. The meat had that nice subtle gamy taste and everything just worked really well together.
Getting stuck in was the name of the game. Conversation was culled and it was time to get down to business. It was nice to sit back and enjoy a plate of pasta with a nice glass of red. At that point in time it was hard to talk. When you have something so so good sitting in front of you (no I'm not talking about one another, we're not as cheesy as the lasagna) you can't think of nothing better than getting stuck in. Sprinkle on some more parmesan and you have yourself one tasty party.
Despite what was a really hearty meal you can't have a birthday without cake right? Exactly. Our waiter confirmed what we already knew, everyone has a second stomach purely devoted for all things sweet. Saying no is not an option.
To fill up this second stomach we orderd the Buttermilk & vanilla waffles with hot chocolate sauce & vanilla gelato $16. The waffles were soft and fluffy and not too doughy on the inside whilst being nice and crisp on the outside. The chocolate sauce was made from bitter chocolate and was a perfect accompaniment to the vanilla gelato. Sprinkled with icing sugar it was a nice end to a great meal. But there is more of course.
We had to get the Torta di verona mascarpone, pandoro, blueberry & almond trifle $16.50. We just love trifle. It's part of the rule of T - Truffles, Tequila and Trifle. Not that there was much tequila involved. The mascarpone was creamy, the spongy cake had a really nice alcoholic kick to it. With a bit of tartness from the blueberry's and crunchy texture from the almonds, it was a perfect way to burst at the seams.
It wasn't over with the cakes; no most definitely not. Our lovely waiter happened to know that it was a birthday dinner being the most awesome waiter that he was and brought out a little birthday biscuit cake complete with a candle. With a lovely rendition of happy birthday and a shot of limoncello down we could say it was most definitely a Buzo birthday bash. With great food, great wine and a beautiful setting it was most definitely a birthday well had.
So once more with the same amount of enthusiasm as the first birthday post - Happy Birthday Gianna. I'm counting down until my birthday in November.
Open Mon - Sat 6pm-10pm