Friday, 27 September 2013

DiMattina's - Review - Carlton

DiMattina's (306 Lygon St  Carlton VIC 3053) is one of the many Italian restaurants on Lygon St.  How anyway chooses their dining experience on Lygon St is anyone's guess as the choice is endless.  DiMattina's is packed on a Saturday night so it does beg the question of why?  I'd probably suggest that the good family vibe, prompt service and maybe historical reputation are reasons why it's so busy.  Also, the appearance of a busy and popular restaurant does attract the casual diner who knows no better. 

Veal saltimbocca
Veal Saltimbocca


The veal saltimbocca, veal wrapped in proscuitto and sage leaf served with bok choy with a sweet mustard dressing is and interesting take on the Italian classic.  Personally I'd have preferred green beans and cherry tomatoes rather than the bok choy.  It also seemed to lack a bit of flavour and was teeming with butter/oil.  You can literally see it in the picture above.  If you are trying look after your heart, avoid.
Chicken schnitzel

The chicken schnitzel, crumbed chicken breast with rocket, lemon and pear salad and tomatoe chutney met its requirements.  Really this is a staple and shouldn't bother the cooks too much.  The salad was very generous in proportion and I should add that the rocket was very fresh (this isn't always the case).  All up the chicken schnitzel was good but in no way special.

The steamed mussels in tomato based broth with crusty bread was okay.  Its not going to win any special awards and its not going to make you say 'Oh, that was devine' but it does the business so to speak.  Satisfactory but nothing more.
Creme brulee
Vanilla bean creme brulee
The vanilla creme brulee served with pistachio biscotti was a delight.  In fact it is the desserts that are the most satisfying feature of DiMattino's.  

Sticky date pudding
Sticky Date Pudding - of course!
The sticky date pudding is of course a classic although not in the Italian sense.  Everything was perfect with this, the butterscotch sauce matched perfectly and was generously portioned to go with the pudding.  Dare I say it the ice cream was probably mass produced but everything about this dessert fitted the bill nicely.

Hot chocolate
Hot chocolate
I am happy to recommend DiMattina's as a nice family restaurant or if you dine out regularly and do not want to break the bank.  Within these bounds DiMattina shines.  However, if it is for a very special evening then maybe you should look elsewhere.

Rating - 3.5
Would I go again - No
Would I recommend to  a friend - No 

Telephone: (03) 9347 5500
Address: 306 Lygon St  Carlton VIC 3053
Reviewed By: Howie Be

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