Last Saturday night for date night speed-eater-bf took me to Third Avenue Cafe and Pizzeria in Mount Lawley. I had been looking forward to date night all week and the place speed-eater had booked remained a mystery right up to 10 minutes before we arrived. He did well keeping it from me despite my (not-so) subtle attempts to pry it out of him. Third Avenue is situation further along Beaufort Street in Mount Lawley compared to most of the restaurants therefore parking was not an issue, which was nice. We were greeted and quickly seated and the first thing that struck me was the casualness of this place. It definitely had a cafe feel to it rather than a restaurant.
Speed-eater and I were quick to order, with us choosing to forgo drinks (speed-eater had been at the pub all afternoon and was hitting the water, and I am not much of a drinker at all, if at all) and instead got onto the ordering. The menu has a range of entrees, mains, pastas, quite a selection of pizzas, sides and there is a daily specials board. Speed-eater-bf decided on the Bruschetta ($15) with tomato, shallot, olive oil and basil for entree. I selected the Blanched Asparagus ($15) which came with Danish fetta, currants, pine nuts, pesto and lemon. I asked whether this could be served without the Danish fetta due to my lactose issues and they happily obliged me. It was not long at all until our first course arrived.
I was well impressed with the portion sizes of both. And wow, my Blanched Asparagus was incredible. The pesto and lemon with the sweetness of the currants and crunch of the pine nuts complimented the asparagus, which was blanched to perfection, retaining a slight crunch. Speed-eater’s Bruschetta looked great too and he devoured this.
For mains I went with the special of the day which was Roast Chicken Caponata served with roast potatoes ($33), whilst speed-eater-bf went with the Wood Oven Roasted Baby Goat ($38). Whenever there is baby goat on a menu I pretty much know that will be what speed-eater orders, he particularly loves a goat curry. Anyhow, again, service was prompt and it was not long of a wait until our mains arrived. Now don’t be fooled by the photos of the baby goat dish, although not the prettiest of dishes speed-eater said it was very tasty, with the goat being fall-off-the-bone tender. The goat was served with extra virgin olive oil, garlic, rosemary, mash and dressed green vegetables. The dressed green vegetables looked fresh and very spring-ish and were in abundance (good for speed-eater to get his greens in). Speed-eater had actually decided to order a garden salad ($9) to share with me because he did not think there would be too much veg on his plate, but I ended up eating the majority of it! And it was quite delicious with hint of dressing (which I liked as I hate it when there is so much dressing that your salad goes soggy!)
My Roast Chicken was another wow dish for me. I had to do a sneaky google of caponata before deciding on ordering this dish, with google telling me it is a Sicilian vegetable stew consisting of eggplants. As soon as I saw the word eggplant I was sold. The caponata was well seasoned and delicious, my only complaint was that there was not more! My chicken was good – nothing exciting but nothing wrong with it (I do tend to try and stay away from ordering chicken when I am out as I tend to cook it a lot at home however on this occasion fancied it). The roast potatoes were the star of the dish, crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle. Some parts of them were sitting in the caponata which I quickly rescued so they would lose their crunch. A faultless dish for me.
Now if I hadn’t already been impressed by the service at this establishment my socks were about to be blown off. Speed-eater fancied some dessert. The waitress informed us that they do not have a dessert menu she could bring us to peruse over, it was instead written on a blackboard inside (we were seated in the alfresco area). However, rather then us getting up she told us she would run us through it. I kid you not there were about seven different dessert items and she easily described them all, including what they were served with! Impressive, well done young lady. Speed-eater ordered the Warm Chocolate Brownie served with chocolate sauce and vanilla bean ice-cream ($?). Speed-eater found this dish very rich, and I could actually smell the chocolate as he was eating it. He struggled to finish it finding the amount of chocolate somewhat overwhelming. He liked the vanilla bean ice-cream though.
I walked away from this cafe with mixed feelings, I could not fault the service or the food, in fact both were impeccable. In particular the food was generous and of high quality. However, for the price of the meals, I guess I expect a certain level of sophistication with regards to the ambience, and paper table coverings and a general cafe feel did not quite hit that for me.