Extra Virgin Fine Foods
Extra Virgin Fine Foods
Well hello Crows Nest! Aren’t we looking a bit sexy these days? Look at you all grown up and flaunting some hot new restaurants. I particularly love your latest addition Extra Virgin Fine Foods on Alexander St. Come here often? Can I have your number I’ve lost mine? If I said you have a nice chest would you hold it against me? Regardless of what cheesy pick up line you try make sure you give this new restaurant a crack.
Opening the doors in mid November 2010, Extra Virgin Fine Food serves a combination of traditional, rustic French and Spanish dishes. Upon arrival guests of Secret Foodies #17 were greeted with a choice of white or red sangria, a great way to start the warm night.
The atmosphere is relaxed and casual with a stylish fit out. Tables line the side street, there’s a bar on your right as you walk through the door and an entire wall full of gourmet condiments for sale. Take a left and you’re in a stylish space with European wallpaper on the back feature wall, a black chandelier and dim mood lighting.
Tonight’s theme for dinner is the ‘Rustic Spanish Escape’. A small shot of gazpacho to start our meal sent my taste buds nostalgic of my time in Granada, Spain. It was here I first tried the delicious cold tomato and garlic soup and loved it.
In Spain, food is all about tapas and a shared style of eating and drinking. A flow of delicious small dishes was placed on the table during the night including crispy croquetas of jamon and manchego and flakey empanaditas of meat and sultanas. For our vegetarian foodie there were different options for each dish including the eggplant, chilli, cheese,pimenton and empanaditas.
The wine kept coming and got heavier as the night went on. We started with white before moving on to a light Cano Rose.
Everyone at the table seemed to love the caramelized goats cheese with onion jam and honey crackling. One foodie made sure he wrote down the name and location of where that creamy goodness came from. For others it was all about the BBQ chorizo, tender, not too salty and very Moorish.
Tummies feeling a little full it was time for everyone to stand up, stretch their legs and move seats to meet someone new. The Picante tempranillo Syrah wine and paella with mussels, calamari and prawns gave everyone something to talk about.
Paella is a traditional Spanish dish normally only served at lunchtime, as it’s quite heavy. At Extra Virgin Fine Food you’ll find paella full of fresh seafood, soft fluffy rice and chorizo. Visually it was spectacular. My one grumble would be having to de-shell the prawns at the table. It’s always tricky, messy and I would have loved them already peeled.
For dessert we were served a selection of sweets including dulce de leche flan with turron and fresh strawberries. And what would a Spanish escape be without churros? The delicious doughnuts and rich cocolatey sauce were naughty but oh so nice! For me though the flan was my favourite sweet and something I will definitely order again. To match dessert we were given Liqor de orujo – ruavieja or Gardens de café, sweet dessert liquors. These were delicious.
To finish the night we grabbed Head Chef Vincent Giardin out of his busy kitchen and owner Maricio Moreno over for a foodie chat. We got the low down on where they sources their produce, the inspiration before Extra Virgin Fine Foods and what their favourite food is…cheese of course!
Extra Virgin Fine Foods is a café, bar, restaurant and deli rolled in to one big welcomed addition to the lower north shore. It’s perfect for a quick lunch, relaxed drink and tapas after work or dinner with friends. They also offer cooking classes on how to make the ‘perfect paella’ and offsite-catering options.