224 Gertrude St, Fitzroy ph : (03) 9415 7575
When did Winter 2012 hit Melbourne? I swear I just waved good-bye to Summer last week, did I blink and miss Autumn in its entirety already? Nonetheless it gave us a really good excuse to check out the wood fire oven dishes at Ladro on Gertrude St in Fitzroy. (There's another one in Prahran) Even more exciting for us is its newish kids' menu, declaring its readiness for meals with little ones!
|We learnt tonight that Ladro means Thief in Italian|
We had a booking at 5:30pm for the family-friendly early sitting, and the restaurant was empty when we first arrived. We were warmly greeted and promptly seated, with a portable high chair fitted to one of the standard chairs for Bubs. Luckily Bubs fell asleep for the entire meal so it was a lot less chaotic for us than usual! The restaurant filled up pretty quickly after that but the service remained impressively attentive and efficient.
The kids menu offered pizza or pasta + dessert of bomboloni or ice-cream for $12.50. My kids loved the puzzles on the other side of the menu and the color pencils that occupied them until their meals arrived. Which meant no one hijacked my iPhone for the whole evening!
I enjoyed a sparkling blood orange drink by Daylesford and Hepburn Mineral Springs Co. ($4.5) while the kids kept busy.
Bread came with a very fruity olive oil that Hubby loved.
The older 2 shared a pizza and a pasta. The Margherita pizza is a pretty decent size (enough that I had a slice, or two!) Lovely thin base the way we like it. I'm glad the kids enjoy a good old fashioned, simple pizza made in a wood fire oven.
The prosciutto crudo pasta was delicious in its simplicity. (The large amount of cheese on top was requested by Mini Me)
|Prosciutto Crudo Pasta|
For our mains we ordered the special for the night, which was wood fire oven roasted quail, with parmagiano potato mash, mushrooms and truffle honey ($36). 2 perfectly roasted quails rested atop the mushies and mash, the truffle honey giving that hint of sweetness that makes you want more. Not a huge dish but very tasty, and something I would definitely have again.
|Oven Roasted Quail|
Rest assured we did not go hungry as the pizza was pretty big. We ordered the Badabing ($20.5) which was topped with tomato, provolone, pork sausage, oregano, fresh chilli and basil. Again a simple pizza with excellent flavours. Our only gripe being that the base was a bit too charred (even for a wood fire pizza) and gave it too much of a burnt taste.
The kids wanted dessert even before they had their mains, so their Jock's ice-cream was predictably well received! Excellent chocolate flavour and real vanilla bean meant that Mummy enjoyed it too, when they graciously "shared" some with me!
|Jock's Ice-cream, in vanilla bean and chocolate|
Our dessert of Bomboloni, Italian doughnuts served with ice-cream and blood orange syrup was well worth the extra 20 minute wait. The freshly fried (and perfectly round!) sugar dusted dough balls were super crunchy on the outside whilst being lovely and soft inside. Served piping hot,, their temperature melts the ice-cream, which mixes in with the syrup into a delicious sauce that goes perfectly with the dough. The highlight of the meal for me, and not only because it's dessert!
|Bomboloni are da bomb!|
There is an enclosed courtyard with a lovely skylight to the back of the restaurant, which has good pram access and a casual ambiance. All up an excellent early dinner spot for families, with great service and delicious, simple food. I already want more doughnuts and it's been less than 24 hours!
Tim from one of my favourite blogs TOT : Hot or Not also recently visited Ladro, read about their visit here.
Highchairs - yes
Toilets - yes, super clean, and although there's no proper change table, a flat space next to the main sink seems quite serviceable for a quick nappy change