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Review: New menu at The Trattoria at The Hellenic Club Woden

Alison Senti

When HerCan’s founder and director Amanda Whitley asked if I’d review The Trattoria’s new sharing menu, I couldn’t say ‘ναί’ quick enough.

Pronounced ‘nai’, means ‘yes’ in Greek – and it’s one of the few words I have managed to retain after a year of Greek lessons…sigh…

Now, I might be hopeless at learning the Greek language but what I am good at is eating Greek food.

Lots of it. At this Club.

Garlic Pizza starter

Garlic Pizza starter

I can pretty much give you a review of all the dining outlets including The Trattoria, which I have always found to be a nice, cozy spot to repair from the gaggle of laughing, gesticulating, celebrating Greeks and their families – as only Greeks know how.

Grilled salmon with

Atlantic Salmon with creamed English spinach

The Trattoria (downstairs, next door to the Bistro) has relaunched its menu to embrace the way Greeks like to celebrate food – by sharing large, generous platters of Mediterranean goodness. Same applies for all of us really – get your nearest and dearest together, put a big plate of good, fresh food on a table and hey presto, instant party. Who doesn’t like to eat that way?

T_asparagus

Asparagus spears, crisp prosciutto and shaved parmesan drizzled with a thyme lemon butter

As my family and I sat down to scan the new Trattoria menu I was delighted to see many of the dishes I had longed for since the Taverna, the traditional Greek food outlet upstairs which has since made way for Ginseng, closed some time ago.

The Trattoria’s entrees and mains now come as small and large plates to share: Greek-style calamari, sautéed prawns with feta, mini-gyro buns (kinda like a Greek bahn-mi), wood-fired lamb, slow-roast pork and chef’s mezze platter all had us drooling and calling for the waiter to take our order.

Grilled corn

Grilled corn

Family favourites remain also, including wood-fired pizza, pasta and traditional plated meals for those not wanting to share a large meal are available too. Gluten free and vegetarian diners are well catered for by a menu that salutes the best of the Mediterranean style of cooking.

Pumpkin and feta wood fired pizza

Pumpkin and feta wood fired pizza

After much deliberation over the menu our waitress came over to take our order. She arrived with an offer: Harry, The Trattoria’s delightful head chef will send us a selection of dishes. We were game and happy to be surprised.

We were treated to a tender joints of grilled chicken with a Spanish paprika char served atop a mildly spicy chickpea and baby spinach salad; thick, moist slices of salmon served on tangy shaved fennel slices and horseradish dressing; pumpkin, fetta and pine nut wood-fired pizza from the Trattoria oven; and a delicate dish of asparagus spears, crisp prosciutto and shaved parmesan drizzled with a thyme lemon butter.

T_chicken

Slow roasted pumpkin and bell peppers with grilled chicken

 

Harry prefers to focus on quality seasonal produce without overworking the elements, to retain freshness and lightness in the dishes.

Dessert – we weren’t sure we could fit it in! But Harry insisted we try his dessert pizza. Okay Harry, you twisted our collective rubber arms! And so out came a caramel sauce-based pizza topped with paper thin apple slices and a sprinkling of cinnamon, with vanilla-bean ice-cream on top. A delicious way to end the meal.

T_Dessert_pizza

Dessert pizza with caramel, apple, cinnamon and vanilla ice cream

We thoroughly enjoyed our night at The Trattoria and the new shared-style dining meant a casual, delicious restaurant meal where we could happily pick from each other’s plates and try a range of dishes in the one sitting. With kids eating free seven nights a week The Trattoria is a great choice for a fun family night out that won’t drain the drachma, I mean euro, from the bank.

the essentials
What: The Trattoria, Hellenic Club of Canberra.
When: Open for lunch and dinner, seven days per week.
Where: Hellenic Club of Canberra, Matilda Street Woden.
Cost: Shared entrees $14, shared mains $28, wood-fired pizza and pasta $19, banquet menus also available.
Website: hellenicclub.com.au/hc_dining/trattoria/

The writer and her family dined courtesy of The Trattoria, however she and her family regularly frequent the Hellenic Club including the Bistro, Ginseng and Trattoria – and she struggles weekly through her Greek lessons.

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Alison Senti

Alison Senti is a child-rearing, part-time working, globe-travelling, gourmet-gutsing, marathon-running, shoe 'collecting' second generation Canberran who likes to take life by the scruff of the neck and give it a good shake. Most of her stories on Her Canberra are selfishly of interest to her personally! More about the Author

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