I mentioned in my review of Locanda that it was a huge decision for me not to order a pasta dish. I had to bear the weight of that sacrifice for the remainder of the week by suffering relentless pasta cravings. Finally, I caved. I booked a table for 2 at the nearest Italian restaurant I could find on Urbanspoon that I hadn't already been to. This turned out to be Colle Rosso in Red Hill.
We got there just before 8pm on a Thursday and it was fairly quiet but with enough other diners that we didn't feel out of place. I normally like restaurants to be busy but Colle Rosso had a romantic vibe with its darkish interior, red accents and video of scenic Italian landscapes playing so it suits being less packed.
Marc and I took up a table by the wall, ordered some beer and perused the menu. We ended up choosing a pizza bread to share for starters and a pasta dish each.
Focaccia rustica - organic pizza bread with rosemary, oregano and homemade garlic extra virgin olive oil
A waft of aromatic rosemary drifted past our table and I nudged Marc, wondering what it was. It turned out to be someone else's pizza bread starter and I was really happy to see ours follow not long after that. Even as a rosemary non-enthusiast, Marc liked this pizza bread. It was hot, puffy, slightly salted and very fragrant.
Linguine alla marinara - mix of seafood, lobster bisque, cherry tomato sauce, garlic, chili and fresh parsley
Our mains arrived quite shortly after the bread was taken away. The seafood linguine had a generous variety of seafood and the sauce was quite light and unobtrusive. Marc thought it was tasty but I think the sauce could have benefited from a bit more omph. I didn't quite get the 'lobster bisque' effect. Maybe some more creaminess or an extra kick of chili would have made things more interesting?
Fettucine al ragu d'agnello - home made free range egg fettucine with a slow cooked lamb ragout and reggiano cheese
The fettucine was more to my liking. I've said it before and I'll say it again, ragu with some form of tape pasta is my favourite type of pasta dish. It exemplifies everything I look for in a pasta dish: comfort and rich flavour. This version at Colle Rosso was quite good, with a perfectly cooked pasta that was generously topped with the full-bodied lamb sauce. If I was to be critical I would say that it was slightly too tart from tomato and could have been better balanced but we were satisfied.
With no room for dessert, we finished our meal at Colle Rosso full and happy. I briefly mentioned above the TV showing images of Italy. This was right in my view and I thought it was great because it brought back happy memories of our time there. The waitstaff was so friendly and welcoming and that really added to our experience.