Nicola’s niece, Eli, is visiting New Zealand on a working visa at the moment. She’s currently staying in Auckland but has been visiting us in Wellington over the weekend. We decided to show her the main points of Wellington, and this involved, on Saturday evening, a trip to top Wellington restaurant and handily placed local establishment, The Larder.
The Larder are putting on a Sicilian menu at the moment, and we’d booked ourselves in to try it some weeks ago. A quick phone call upped the table to 3 people, and we were in. We arrived at 7:00pm to be greeted by Sarah, who has just won the Cuisine Restaurant Personality of the Year award, and the rest of the staff, who know us on sight by now.
OK, straight in to the food. First course was a chickpea and fennel soup. The broth was clear and enticing, with whole chickpeas in it. Served with a catarratto inzolia – a typical Sicilian dry white wine.
Next was arancini with braised beef cheek and caponata – a spicy, tomatoey mix with olives and eggplant. This was served with a red Nero d’Avola Syrah blend.
Third course was the fish course, and, almost inevitably, sardines – a classic mainstay of Sicilian cuisine. We had these in a pasta sauce with pine nuts, parsley, fennel, lemon and olive oil. The wine accompaniment took us back to the whites with a pinot grigio.
The main meat course was roasted pork jowl, with dried figs, served with a powerful red russo Etna Rosso. It needed the big flavours to counteract the richness of the pork and sweetness of the figs.
The final course was cannoli – a pastry tube stuffed with ricotta and lemons, and served with blood orange and almond. This was accompanied with a Pellegrino Zibibbo sweet (but not too sweet) dessert wine.
All in all a delicious meal once again. None of the courses was large – enough for a taste, and with the pork a more substantial serving, so you left feeling satisfied but not stuffed, which is good. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I’m pleased that Jacob & Sarah are getting so much media attention for their excellent restaurant at the moment – they seem to be everywhere! Dom Post, Kiwibank adverts, you name it!