Ahhh Mosman, my old home. How I have missed you! Sure now I live closer to the city but there's something to be said about visiting the familiar. Seeing the chic pony tailed mums in their pale pink polo shirts swinging their keys to the white BMW 4WD while photogenic children in designer duds follow them asking for a babycino. Tonight I'm dining at Fourth Village Providores - what is by day an upmarket store with fresh produce, deli goods and a cafe. At night, they roll back all of the displays and open it up to be a restaurant. Owned by Peter and Annette Quattroville and run with their four sons it appears to be a hit with Mosmanites as tonight it's packed. Anne-Maree has gathered a bunch of like minded food lovers here tonight.
Antipasto for 7 (two of the deli plates plus a plate of octopus and roasted capsicum $80)
Our two antipasto plates are brought out quickly and each one is elevated on a metal hoist so that everyone can reach the food. On each plate is a selection of salami, proscuitto, mortadella, coppa, pieces of roasted beetroot, grilled zucchini, grilled eggplant and a bowl of mixed olives. Of course my favourites are always going to be the proscuitto and salami and I make fast work of it. There's also cold, tender squid salad and a plate of grilled sweet, red capsicum.
The Cheese Room
In between food must be a bit of shopping (don't you just love a shop-slash-restaurant?). I must visit the cheese room which I do with Leanne the owner and baker of Sweet Infinity bakery. She's a cheese hobbyist and she picks up cheese after cheese showing me the different properties and qualities. She tells me that Lynne Tietzel from Australia On a Plate taught her that a good cheddar sucks the moisture out of your mouth and leaves the flavour behind. She also confirms that the best part of a cheese wheel is the centre and that in Italy, Italian mamas bid for the centre pieces at the markets. The centre pieces are never given to younger ladies as it's a sign of respect to the older generation.
Petit Munster cheese which is made by monks (Munster is Latin for Monastery)
_Farfalle con bresaola, fichi, gorgonzola e barbabietole $25 _
I asked for a recommendation from Sam, one of the four sons who is working tonight and he recommended this dish. It is a bow tie pasta with beetroot. "Do you like gorgonzola?" he asks me. "I love it" I answer firmly. What I didn't know that along with gorgonzola would be fresh figs which happen to be what I consider heaven in a mouthful and the pasta is sweet with the figs and beetroot. It could be considered too sweet for some but I like the way that it balances the richness of the gorgonzola and the slight saltiness of the breseaola (cured beef). And serves are huge - so huge that I take some home in a takeaway container unable to let it go to waste. I spy the other large table next to us and the waiter brings them a stack of eight takeaway containers with what they couldn't finish. Mental note: take Mr NQN here!
Linguine Con Gli Scampi $27
I try some of Claire's pasta and it's deliciously spicy with a tomato based sauce and the linguine cooked to a perfect al dente texture.
Ortolana Pizza $20
This pizza made using their wood fired oven is topped with grilled eggplant, zucchini, sundried tomato, stracchino cheese and fresh basil. It's good, with a nice crust and Andrea and his girlfriend Elana both from Tuscany in Italy (I have to ask them "Why would anyone move from Tuscany?!") say that it is very close to what they get back home.
Nobile Pizza $24
I try some of Elana's Nobile pizza which she has changed slightly so that the gorgonzola is replaced with the mascarpone which actually goes very well with the salty speck. It's drizzled with a light touch of truffle oil which isn't too strong.
Tagliata d'agnello $29
I try some of Anne-Maree's grilled and marinated lamb loin on a bed of rocket and I dip it into the mint aioli. It's tasty with the flavour penetrating through the meat and the mint aioli gives it a lift.
_Tortini di Mare $18 (prawns and whitebait fritters) _
_Fegato d'anatra con cipalla fondente e polenta $18 (foie gras and polenta)
Gelato: strawberry and coconut $7
We're all schvitizing in here with the heat so when I see Claire's gelato I immediately order one. They have a few different flavours but I order strawberry and coconut. The serve is enormous and no matter how hard I try, I can't make a dent in it and I sadly watch it pool into a white and pink mess before my eyes lamenting that this can't be given to my ice cream monster Mr NQN.
We finish off with a plate of Royce Chocolate from Japan which Anne-Maree has kindly brought back from her trip overseas. They're buttery and sublime and absolutely melt in the mouth...
So tell me Dear Reader, do you often ask for a doggie bag when you eat out?
Fourth Village Providores
5A Vista Street, Mosman NSW
Tel: +61 (02) 9960 7162
Breakfast: 7:00am till 11:30am 7 days a week
Lunch: 12:00pm till 3:00pm 7 days a week
Coffee & Cake: 3:00pm till 5:00pm 7 days a week
Dinner: Thursday till Sunday Booking are essential for 6:00pm or 7:30 seatings
Open 7:00pm till 7:00pm Monday to Friday
7:00pm till 6:00pm Saturday & Sunday