Now that I've finished my Sydney posts, it's time to revisit Brisbane. I actually went to Mariosarti the night before we flew to Sydney, so the sequence is inaccurate. But... who cares :).
I remember a long, long time ago, mum told me that her colleague recommended Mariosarti in Toowong as a great Italian restaurant. At the time, I thought I was an amazing foodie even though I only knew a handful of restaurants. I hadn't heard of this one so I dismissed it as poor taste.
Since then, I've become more open-minded to restaurants. I mean, I'm pretty sure that at the time, I thought Sizzler's was gourmet (well not that bad but you know what I mean :p). I looked up Mariosarti and found the menu appealing so I decided to check it out.
We had coffee first (got to Toowong an hour before the booking) and then proceeded to look for the restaurant. It was actually pretty funny because we both stopped at the side of the road and said 'let's look up the address and GPS our way there'. After farting around with different programs, I suddenly realized 'oh... it's just across the road'. We looked, and there it was! It's like that St George iPhone App add (if you know what I mean).
Anyway... we had one of those coupon deals at Mariosarti: 2 glasses of wine, bruchette and mains of our choice.
We opted for a red and a white. I didn't think much of the wine but it was drinkable. I'm really not at all knowledgeable about wine. It has to be really amazing for me to think anything of it (the bottle we had at Rockpool comes to mind) and I'm happy if it's not awful.
Our bruchetta was served first. Bruchetta can be very plain and most non-Italian cafes use simple tomato, basil and possibly some cheese. This was more rustic and also contained roast tomato, capsicum, grilled onion and fresh mozarella. It was actually very tasty and I would definitely order it again.
For mains, I wanted pasta but decided against it because we were planning to go to an Italian restaurant in Sydney on the Sunday (this didn't end up happening). I chose the pork special of the day and Hien went for the steak.
I wasn't a huge fan of my pork to be honest. It was rather plain and I didn't think the figs went well with the dish.
It needed a good sauce or something to pull it all together. The meat itself seemed tough too.
Rib on the bone with a warm salad of marinated truss tomatoes, red wine braised onions, baby desiree potatoes and rocket, and caper and herb butter
I tried some of Hien's steak... not bad. He was rather impressed (and simultaneously appalled) at the giant nob of butter sitting on top of the fillet. What we both really liked was the salad. It was fresh and tangy with interesting potato crisps.
Although I didn't like my pork at Mariosarti, I feel as though it was my fault for not ordering something more Italian, like a pasta. I seem to do this a lot. The service was lovely though and the atmosphere was vibrant. I would like to go back to try some of their pastas.