It's been far too long since I've done a post about one of my favourite places to dine in Bendigo. It's becoming something of a tradition to head to La Piazza for our wedding anniversary dinner these last few years. Without pre-planning or request, we always get the same table...and we're always served by the same lovely staff member...I'm not sure she remembers us but we remember her :)
La Piazza Wine Bar & Restaurant is one of those places that it feels like it's been a part of Bendigo for as long as you can remember. We find ourselves there for end of year work lunches & staff farewells...and my family appreciates the relaxed atmosphere where you can have a conversation around a large table and everyone can hear each other...which isn't always the case when dining out! I personally love the rich reds, bricked walls and dark leathers in the interior...with plenty of Jimmy Possum pieces to admire. Plus, I basically should've been born Italian, such is my love for their food.
They describe their menu as `a mediterranean influenced selection of tapas, pizza, main courses & desserts using the best and freshest of local produce'. Anyone who knows me would not be surprised to find that my two favourite dishes both feature gnocchi.
saltimbocca alla romana - milk fed veal, cooked w/ prosciutto
& sage served w/ grilled roman gnocchi (pictured)
gnocchi con agnello - potato dumplings made in house daily,
served w/ a rich local lamb rump ragu, slow cooked in tomato & rosemary
Last time I did my best to talk them into extra roman gnocchi (pictured with the veal) because there are just no words for how delicious this is :) I feel like mine and Luke's roles are reversed in this restaurant...he tries something new every time we visit and I just can't move past my gnocchi obsession! Luke is still talking about the last meal he had here...
guanciale di manzo - 5 hour slow cooked beef cheeks,
served w/ parmesan potato mash & wilted spinach
There's also a Wine Room for sampling local, regional & imported wines (pictured top right) that can be booked out for groups, and they have tastings there on the weekends...after which you can buy your favourite to take home if you wish! La Piazza does a fantastic job of showing off Bendigo to whomever may walk through their doors...and they will always be a sentimental favourite of mine. See you in November :) You will find them at 2-4 Howard Place, Bendigo.