One of the attractions of Ellenbrook is the first-rate Italian restaurant, Woodfire, and its owner and chef Lorenzo Schiaffini who is a master of the wood fired oven. Lorenzo has an impressive resumé – former head chef of Jamie’s Italian in Perth and in others of his restaurants in the UK, and he has really made his mark in WA since opening Woodfire in Ellenbrook. We have been on a number of occasions and have always enjoyed the food and wine. It is a typically rustic Italian spot turning out hearty and good value food.
And last week we were invited along to a wine dinner where Lorenzo’s creations were matched the wines of small producer, Little Black Dog.
Little Black Dog, with its vines in the Swan Valley, turns out an impressive range of wines – from sparkling through whites and rosé to some excellent reds and a luscious fortified.
Tash from the winery was on hand to pour the wines as we progressed through each course, and to chat about each of those on offer on the night.
We began the repast with an antipasto plate – a large selection of cured meats, along with cheese and house made ciabatta bread, and bowls of the peppery and punchy Cooladerra Farms extra virgin olive oil.
Onto a classic of Italy – Insalata Caprese – juicy, fresh heirloom tomatoes, thickly sliced and drizzled with more of that delightful oil and topped with creamy, oozy burrata – simple dish but it really is one of the best salads going around and Woodfire’s was excellent.
Next on the list were arancini ala Milanese – saffron risotto balls, with spicy Italian sausage, rich roasted bone marrow and sitting on a bed of zesty, spicy arrabbiata sauce – one of the restaurant’s signature dishes – shaved cheese completed a delicious dish.
A pasta course followed – tortelloni filled with sweet roasted pumpkin, smoked mozzarella and served with sage butter and aged ricotta – again a very well executed dish.
By this time struggling to finish, we were offered up a brilliant whole suckling pig, succulent, tender, slow roasted meat, flavoured with herbs, and accompanied by balsamic spuds, red onions and bowls of chilli green beans – and gee they certainly added a touch of zip to the meal.
Could we eat anymore? Well when the dessert was Lorenzo’s justly famous bomboloni we lifted to the occasion – these light, fluffy, sugary hot doughnuts with a variety of custard fillings and hot chocolate sauce, were a fitting companion to the liqueur from Little Black Dog.
This was a very enjoyable evening – Lorenzo’s food is top notch and the wine was perfectly matched to the food on offer. Ellenbrook is well worth a visit to check out Woodfire (and other restaurants close by are also worth the trip, too).