You’ve got to love the suburban local. There are times when you just don’t want to grapple with the city, or tear your hair out looking for parking in Newtown. So I’m sure the locals of Abbotsford and surrounds were glad when they could stroll up to Bistecca.
Bistecca means ‘steak’ in Italian, so there’s no doubt what is the star of the show. The attractively fitted out space (there’s that distressed brick wall look again) has a wall depicting cuts of meat, and there’s a glass cabinet with chunks of the fresh stuff. We eye a whole pig roasting on a spit, which they do for groups with an advance order, and wished there was a few more of us. Funnily enough, though, none of us felt like a big piece of protein that night, it was cool and we wanted to carb up. On this front, our experience was a bit mixed. Those that run the kitchen need a little finessing on technique – a little more cooking here, a little less salt there, small things that would take it from decent to great.
Carciofi Ripieni – baked artichokes filled with breadcrumbs and mint. I loved the breadcrumb and mint sauce, but the artichoke either needed another layer taken off or it needed more cooking. Otherwise it would have been an awesome dish.
Calamari Fritti – lightly fried calamari served with a homemade aioli. Generous amount of calamari, but such a tiny amount of aioli to go with it!
Pizza porcini – with mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, porcini mushrooms, truffle oil. A decent enough pizza, good crust and flavoursome.
Mezzaluna all anatra – moon shape pasta filled with duck ragu. Beautiful duck ragu, but the pasta was chewy and a very salty sauce.
Pappardelle con porcini e ragu di osso buco. Again a little salty side.
Taglioni ai frutta di mara – pasta cooked with a mixture of seafood and cherry tomatoes, well flavoured. A generous amount of seafood. On both pasta dishes though the presentation needed a little bit of work – a nice simple pasta swirl would have made it look much more appealing.
Campari poached pear with zabaglione. Nice combo, but what was with the kiwi fruit – out of place.
Vanilla Panna cotta – good consistency and a generous size.
Should we come again, I think we’d go with trying the namesake. Or maybe rustle up a few friends and try that whole roast pig.
Bistecca, 565 Great North Rd, Abbotsford Ph (02) 9713 1773