Il Lido Italian Canteen: Cottesloe

Abstract art: a product of the untalented sold by the unprincipled to the utterly bewildered.

-Al Capp-

The Scenario: It’s Saturday afternoon and my bottom is firmly grooved into the couch with a trashy movie playing in the background…….sound familiar?? Yes it was another Saturday afternoon that could have easily progressed into another night of  being too lazy to make an effort to venture from the depths of my bat cave. I don’t know if someone put something in my drink or there was magic in the air but tonight was different, and in some random twist of fate I transformed from a Walmart bogan into a real person.

So what could prompt me to find such motivation? The answer lies in two beautiful little words……….. Il Lido’s.

Il Lido Italian Canteen
88 Marine Pde
Cottesloe 6011
(08) 9286 1111

Open: Monday – Sunday

Breakfast, lunch and dinner available.

Bookings recommended

The literal translation (from all my years of speaking fluent Italian aka just adding an O onto the end of any word) of Il Lido’s is ‘the beach’, which is very logical with the restaurant being located directly across from Cottesloe beach. This logical naming unfortunately did not seem to carry across to Sculptures by The Sea exhibit located close by. In an attempt to be cultured, artistic and deep we ventured to the exhibition for some extended musing and toffee nosed discussion. Although I appreciated many of the sculptures, many left me perplexed purely from the strange names assigned to each piece. Clarification as to why a steel Rooster would be named Freedom, would be greatly appreciated. Why not be like Il Lido’s or one of the funnier artistic works (screwing by the sea – see photo) and call it what it is? Life would be so much simpler.

 A rooster named Freedom

A rooster named Freedom

Screwing by the Sea

Screwing by the Sea

Enough about sculptures I am clearly better suited to understanding food. You will see in the right hand column that I have Il Lido’s listed as one of the top dining places in Perth and that’s for good reason. I have been several times now for lunch and dinner, and not once have I had a bad experience or had any recommendee’s come back disappointed.

I attempted to break the mould and select a new dish to try, despite knowing how good some of my previous meals had been E.g. Pappardelle (pasta) beef cheek ragu. There were a range of options ranging from share plates ($14-$18), to light dishes ($20-$30) and finally main meals E.g. meat, risotto and pasta ($28-$38).  I ordered off the light menu selecting the lamb cutlets served with quinoa (pronounced Kin-wa), goats cheese, egg-plant, raisins and cauliflower. Venturing from what I knew and loved took some will power, with cauliflower not being the most appealing ingredient. My fellow grazer ordered the scotch steak on ciabatta bread with pesto, goats cheese and tomato perhaps influenced by my incessant chatter about the dish and another diners recommendation.

Lamb cutlets with quinoa

Lamb cutlets with quinoa

Service was good being provided with water and food/wine menus immediately. For fellow avid wine drinkers this is a place for you with an extensive list of imported Italian wines and local wines to choose from. Prices for wine range from $40 right through to well over $200. Based on financial circumstances we opted for the well priced Italian Wine Barone di Valforte. This decision was made not by asking for a recommendation (which would be the sensible thing to do) but rather through the impartial action of shutting the eyes and pointing. Some real wine lovers would explain that the wine was very palatable with undertones of berries and perfect tannins. Not being well-informed in this area, I’m just going to go with the fact that it tasted damn good and help wasn’t required to finish the bottle.

Barone di Valforte

Barone di Valforte

Our meals came out at the same time (tick) and were presented nicely (2nd tick) . Cutting into my lamb cutlets it was obvious they had been well rested and cooked to perfection being slightly pink in the middle. The quinoa was well seasoned with the side of goats cheese stopping it from being a potentially dry dish. The small florets of cauliflower were tasty and at no stage did I feel like I was eating Nan’s meat and three veg. Eyeing off my fellow grazers meal it was clear that it was equally satisfying with the meal being finished with the statement, “That’s possibly the best meal I have had” – a big statement for a dish that is essentially an open steak sandwich.

Scotch Steak on Ciabatta

Scotch Steak on Ciabatta

Although dessert looked great we passed on the option, concerned that we would need the Tonka Truck sculpture to remove us  from the premises and get us home. I did however manage to sneak a taste of a friends citrus tiramisu who also happened to be dining there at the same time. Although I love coffee I’m not a huge traditional tiramisu fan, so the citrus twist worked well for me. It probably had a touch too much cream without enough lime zest to really enjoy. More zest would have given the dessert the “zing” which I expect when ordering a citrus dessert.

My ride home

My ride home

Positives: Consistency, decor/vibe, imported wine list and perfectly pink lamb.

Negatives: Slightly disappointing dessert and loud setting.  Oh and in true Perth style not being able to get a taxi from Cottesloe on St Patrick’s day!

Score: 4/5. A moderately priced restaurant serving up fantastic food time and time again.

Next up a review of The Attic – Fremantle

Love The Fat Cow x

Il Lido Italian Canteen on Urbanspoon

 

 

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