The decor is very welcoming with wooden tables and chairs, what looks to be aged, or reclaimed, wood cladding on walls and benches, and some bare white walls to keep the interior bright, fresh,and feeling spacious. A mix of lighting is sufficiently bright to accentuate the furnishings without
taking away the cosiness the timber brings. I imagine both upstairs, and downstairs, would be very pleasant perches on a sunny day with outward opening windows, and finely dotted blinds, running the length of the walls to allow for air flow and a muted natural light through.
With a mostly closed off kitchen upstairs, usually reserved for prep and menu testing, and an open kitchen downstairs, where you can watch the magic happen, Lombardo’s is well prepared for large groups, or an inrush of unexpected diners.
For starters, we had the chargrilled and herb encrusted lamb rack (below) served with salsa verde and lime,scallops (above photo) wrapped with pancetta with a cauliflower and taleggio cream, and wagyu carpaccio with red onion, chilli, soy sauce, olive oil, and some pane di casa on the side. Cooked to a perfect medium,the lamb was juicy and the charred flavour went well with the salsa verde. When cooked well, like these were, you can’t fault scallops – add the saltiness the pancetta brings and the creamy sweetness of the cauliflower and taleggio sauce and you have a great starter. As solid as the lamb and scallops were the wagyu carpaccio was the stand out with glossy, transparent wagyu deftly flavoured, and colourful, sitting on a large plate to be admired as much for its aesthetic beauty as how great it tasted.
The main course brought crispy skinned barramundi with a pea mash and citrus butter, oven roasted salmon (below photo) with parsnip puree, sliced almonds and green beans, and truffle and ricotta ravioli, caramelised walnuts, brandy cream sauce and shaved pecorino. Needless to say, both fish dishes served up a crackling crunch from the crisp skin and soft, moist flesh. I can happily say that the green beans would have been lightly blanched as they were delightfully firm. The pick of the mains was the truffle and ricotta ravioli with the ravioli cooked al dente, a smooth transition of flavour from the sauce to the ravioli, and the texture contrast provided by the walnuts.
Time for dessert and the pistachio and chocolate tort comes out on top with the ratio between the pistachio cake base and firm chocolate truffle top being perfect and the drizzle of mixed berry sauce adding that bit of tartness to complement the sweet flavours. A baked New York cheesecake which
was soft, creamy and zesty and a sticky date pudding with butterscotch sauce and vanilla ice cream also found their way to the table.
The consistent quality of the dishes makes me wonder what the other items on the menu that caught my eye are like. Lombardo’s is definitely worth a visit whether you live locally, or afar.
This post was written by QHL. Weekend Food Escapes dined as guests of Forhill Digital. All photos, opinions and words are QHLs.