When I told my brother in law that I had dined at Monte Fiore for dinner the previous week, his words were, “Ohhh, I love that place”. It would seem that that’s the common consensus as Monte Fiore is one of Mount Lawley’s longest standing restaurants. Having it’s place marked on Beaufort Street for the past 22 years and with renovations now complete, the restaurant looks to remain strong in its position along the popular strip.
Along with a new look interior, Monte Fiore has also launched a new contemporary food menu as well as updating their wine list. Invited by new part owner David Caro to dine at the restaurant last week, I was looking forward to seeing all the changes that had taken place over the past year.
The service that you experience at Monte Fiore is second to none from the moment you enter the restaurant. Greeted by a friendly waitress, who remained our service person for the evening, she was welcoming and attentive without being overbearing. Wine was topped up, plates cleared in a reasonable time and nothing was a bother, even when we requested additional plates so we could share our main courses. Everyone was highly professional throughout the evening and you can tell the staff pride themselves on providing a high level of service to all their patrons.
Upon being seated, my mother-in-law and I were introduced to David who spoke to us about the changes that had been made to the restaurant and discuss the menu. At Monte Fiore, they want to provide a comfortable, relaxed experience for diners and the décor and design reflect this.
With a light, airy dining room and comfortable seating plan, the restaurant allows for two people to dine intimately or they can accommodate larger groups. The walls are adorned with artwork (which is available for purchase) and there is a large blackboard declaring the day’s specials. David explained that they are open for lunch most days and dinner seven days a week. Their seating availability can vary depending on what’s on at the Astor Theatre as they are literally a stones throw away.
Perusing the menu, we really were spoilt for choice and it was difficult to decide, as everything sounded so delicious. Catering for all dietary requirements, including gluten free pastas and vegetarian options, we settled on the share plate for our entrée. With two kinds of share plate on offer, we decided on the second option, which consisted of: grilled Spanish chorizo, arancini cheese balls, smoked salmon crepes, prosciutto, Turkish bread and homemade dip.
It was so appetising and more than enough food for two, in fact, it would have served four people easily. Normally on a share plate, there’s something on there that I would prefer not to eat but not on this one. The three kinds of arancini balls were freshly made and had a crunchy, golden coating. The inside was soft and fluffy and they weren’t at all oily or gluey. The Turkish bread was light and fresh, soft and chewy and had a beautiful open texture. Smothered with the salsa dip and topped with prosciutto, it was so enjoyable; I couldn’t stop at one slice. The smoked salmon crepes were better described as a salmon croquette, but again cooked to perfection and incredibly moorish.
More than satisfied with our first course, and having polished off far more off the share plate than my mother-in-law and I had anticipated we would, we decided on our mains; Slow Cooked Beef Shoulder and Fettuccine Ai Frutti Di Mare which we decided to share.
The Slow Cooked Beef Shoulder is oven baked for seven hours with root vegetables, dried fruits and mixed spice served on a cauliflower puree. The flavoursome beef was so tender and fell apart, it was the perfect choice for the cooler evening. The cauliflower puree was creamy and smooth and so comforting, it was a lovely change from your standard mash potatoes.
I love to choose meals when dining out that I wouldn’t make at home so the Fettuccine Ai Frutti Di Mare was my pick because although I do enjoy seafood, I never cook it. This seafood pasta is tomato based and mixed with prawns, scallops, mussels and squid. It’s a simple recipe and the sauce is light and it’s a flavourful Italian recipe. The dish is a little sweeter than I would prefer but it’s a delightful combination.
Monte Fiore doesn’t hold back when it comes to portion sizes and the mains are more than substantial. Unfortunately, due to gorging ourselves on the starter plate, my mother-in-law and I could only manage a quarter of either meal. Luckily for us, Monte Fiore was more than happy to package up the remainder of our meals to take home. They also offer most of the meals as a takeaway option. I received a text the following evening from my mother-in-law saying the food tasted just as good, if not better than the previous night.
Desserts made on the premises at Monte Fiore and there is a decent selection on offer. It was hard to choose, partly because I wasn’t sure how much more I could eat and also because there were a few standouts that I couldn’t choose between.
I decided to enlist the help of our approachable waitress to help me decide between the cheesecake and the sticky date pudding. I ended up with the Sticky Date Pudding and my mother-in-law chose the Tiramisu. Both were very impressive and upon the first mouthful, came the all important mmm’s from us both that we had made the right pick.
The Tiramisu, which means ‘pick me up’ in Italian, was laced with coffee and liqueur and served as an individual portion. It certainly looked impressive and from the little remains we had left at the bottom of the glass, the espresso taste, blended with the creamy flavour was heavenly.
The Sticky Date Pudding is topped with butterscotch sauce and accompanied with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and cream (although I omitted the cream). The cakes texture was perfect and it was warmed through. It was beautifully moist and the sweet delicious sauce was just as nice. I actually ate several spoonfuls of that by itself in-between sips of tea, safe to say I now have a sweet tooth.
I think Kath, my mother-in-law, best summed up the evening when she told David that we would be back to dine here again. Monte Fiore has definitely made an impression on me.
Monte Fiore is also in the Entertainment Book where they offer 25% off the total bill (up to $40 value). They are open Monday/Tuesdays from 5pm – 9:30pm, Wednesday/Thursdays from 11am – 9:30pm, Friday/Saturday from 11am – late and Sunday from 11am – 9:30pm.
Disclaimer: foodie cravings was invited as a guest of Monte Fiore. See disclosure policy for further details.