This month, we went along to Artusi Cucina in Remuera. Tucked away in the Village Green, this warm and welcoming restaurant is the newest restaurant on the block. We were expecting some great Italian food – what we weren’t expecting was to be blown away with unique, incredibly fresh flavours!
Inspired by 19th Century Italian culinary author Pellegrino Artusi, the menu uses the best seasonal organic ingredients and traditional Italian techniques. This philosophy is working for Artusi – bookings are essential on Thursdays, Fridays and weekends, while the Wednesday we visited was a full house.
Talking to some of the local diners, Artusi is already getting rave reviews. The couple next to us had great things to say about it: “Finally Remuera has a real gem… Every mouthful is a taste explosion!”. We had to find out what everyone was talking about:
We ordered the Bruschetta Caprese. The deliciously fresh Heirloom tomatoes, basil, Clevedon Buffalo mozzarella and roasted garlic make this the perfect dish to whet your appetite. As for wine, this Bruschetta really helps Matua’s Lands & Legends Sauvignon Blanc shine, drawing out more crisp capsicum and herbaceous characters.
This is where our taste buds were really blown away. Artusi’s Lasagne Calabria is filled with layers of well-balanced flavour, combining pumpkin, leeks, mushrooms, olives in a tangy tomato sauce. This is quite possibly the best lasagne we’ve ever had – soft, moreish and generous. To compliment the fresh flavours, we paired this dish with Matua’s Lands & Legends Sauvignon Blanc, a refreshing palate cleanser between mouthfuls.
For a dish to really sink your teeth into, try the Tagliata di angello. The lamb was cooked to melt-in-your-mouth perfection, surrounded by honeyed agria potatoes and a delicately spiced sauce. We love that Artusi doesn’t hold back on portion sizes or sauce – there’s something satisfying about soaking up this lightly peppered sauce with an agria potato or two before eating it. For a great wine match with just the right balance of rich, spicy flavours choose the Matua Single Vineyard Lowburn Pinot Noir.
Just when we thought things couldn’t get better, dessert arrived. We chose the Panna cotta and Dolce di datteri (sticky date pudding), and were glad we did. The Panna cotta was topped with an incredible candy nest, and was as promised, a taste explosion! Each mouthful was creamy, smooth and packed a punch with the fresh citrus and toasted pistachio crumb.
The Dolce di datteri sticky date pudding was light, fluffy and moist - just what you feel like on a cold winter’s night. The ginger ice-cream and lavishing of caramel sauce were great additions, an excellent take on this classic favourite.
For some wholesome, fresh and outstanding Italian food that warms the soul, Artusi is worth a visit…or two… or three. You can be we’ll be back!
1-415 Remuera Road
Ph. (09) 522 9196