Vio's Ristorante (Paddington, QLD)

Today, me and my mum made our way out to Vio's Ristorante in Paddington for a two-course voucher meal from Ouffer, which I was slightly apprehensive about.  The weather was so hot, I didn't even feel like eating much, and sometimes the voucher deals are a real miss.  When we first arrived at Vio's, I wasn't sure I felt about the place.  I liked the openness of the restaurant and all the light let through the windows, which reminded me a bit of places in Napa or Sonoma Valley.  The other side of the restaurant was decked out in brocade-like fabric and a chandelier, which was an interesting contrast, but I didn't mind it much.

Between the two of us, we had one antipasti (appetizer), two pasta mains, and a dessert, which filled us to the brim!  We had the corned veal with tuna mayonaise, capers, gherkin, etc., which was not bad and with great presentation.  The veal wasn't too salty and had a nice texture, with balanced flavorful condiments (I especially liked the addition of onion sprouts).  I was impressed, as it was quite a bit for an appetizer!  I decided on the Ragu Danatra con Papparadelle (duck ragu with papparadelle) since I wanted to try their duck.  The sauce was not overly-tomato, which I liked, and was also a decent amount of salt and flavoring.  Although the overall dish didn't particular wow me, I liked that the papparadelle tasted fresh and a little crisp.  We also had the Gnocchi di Patate ai Spinaci (spinach gnocchi) with Four Cheeses and Nutmeg, which didn't quite like, as the smell of the cheese and nutmeg made me a little nauseous, and it was way too oily.  The gnocchi itself wasn't my favorite, as I like my gnocchi with a little more bounce... not to mention, the presentation made the main look cheap.

The dessert (Pera al brachetto) was interesting, as it was a poached pear topped with vanilla cream, with pistachios and a baklava-like pastry on the side.  I do applaud their attempt at innovation and the presentation, but I'm not sure I'm sold by the flavors and how they went together.  The poached pear wasn't bad, but the vanilla cream wasn't my thing (though it could have been received differently).  I'm a huge fan of baklava and pistachios, but the pistachios somehow lost their crisp and taste in the candying process, and the pastry tasted a bit burnt and also lost its crisp.  I had really mixed feelings about the dessert, and don't know that I would go for it again.

Corned Veal
Free bread! Impressed. =)
Duck Ragu with Papparadelle
Spinach Gnocchi with Four Cheeses
Poached Pear with Vanilla Cream and Pistachios
The service was prompt and very neutral - not pleasant, nor unpleasant, and I couldn't exactly make out how I felt about it.  I didn't mind their service, nor their food, but given the price of their menu, I'm not compelled to try more.  Unfortunately, nothing really stood out to me - even in their attempt at innovation, so I'd have to pass on returning.

Price: 40 AUD pp | $$$
Rating: 2.5/5

Vio's Ristorante (Website)
Vio's Ristorante on Urbanspoon

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