Last night we visited Bella Tiarnie purely on the reviews from TA. We were a party of 6 - old work friends who catch up once or twice a year over 10+ years. It is a small restaurant that only seats about 40. I was impressed by the fact that as I entered the restaurant Leonardo (owner and head chef) greeted us. He is fun-loving and an "alive" person and takes the time throughout the evening to stop at every table and interact with them. We made our booking for 6pm so we had lots of time to talk. Leo asked if he could help us with a starter pizza which we accepted (and paid for). It actually ended up being our entree for all 6 of us - it was huge. VERY garlicy so just mentioning in case you accept his offer as well and are not too keen on that much garlic!
For our mains, I had a seafood meal as did another friend and it was chock full of seafood. Not the odd prawn here and there. Another had the gnocci and the rest had the various veal dishes on offer. Absolutely everything tasted great. Some dishes had the choice of pasta so that was appreciated and two of our meals came with a salad and it was huge.
After we all had our meals 5 of the 6 of us decided to try the deserts. Now let me say I am not a desert person but I stuck my neck out. Each one was delicious. Everyone tried each others, as aussies do, and they were very tasty. Between all of us we had a good selection of what was on offer. They were all laced with different liquors and we had a long discussion on what the liquors were. Yum! :)
I must say that the service was terrific. Water bottles came over and over again and they constantly asked us if we wanted another of our bottles of wine. In fact, the only time we need to ask them for something was when we wanted the bill!
Leo owns the joint and clearly loves his job. He gave us his whole life history with very little prompting and it was extremely interesting. I wore a hat to the restaurant and he took to it like a duck to water - prancing around in it often. In the end, I was holding it out when he came past so he didn't have to go look for it! hahaha
If you want to try it (and I think you should) make sure you book. We dragged our sorry rear ends out of Bella Tiarnie at 11pm - a good 5 hours after arriving - pretty good, huh. A great, lively night. It is NOT fine dining so if you are looking for that, forget it but it is definitely not scrubby. It's the kind of place that you are looking for with your buddies to have a great feed, chat and chill. Value for money was excellent - not hard to see why it's so popular. Fabo, enjoy! We'll definitely be back, thanks Leonardo and I'll leave my hat on ;)
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