Last night I was lucky enough to eat at Intermezzo, a restaurant in the historic GPO building. The setting is perfect for so many occasions, lunch times are packed with suits and in summer tables spill out onto the plaza, but at night it becomes dim and spot lit highlighting the historic features of the space like the sandstone walls, enormous mirrors and glass roof.
To start you can sip on a glass of beautiful and crisp Soave, like me, or maybe some Veuve Cliquot like the girls and nibble on some antipasto of cured meats (proscuitto, salami and coppa), sardines, mixed marinated olives, fresh mozzarella, grissini and char grilled bread rubbed with oil. (I forgot to take a photo).
The atmosphere when full buzzes, but when you have good company or something to celebrate time just goes and before you know it an hour has passed and you have forgotten to order your mains. Lucky Chef sent out a little something to wet the palate……succulent scallop wrapped in proscuitto on a gorgonzola sauce. So tender and the sauce was soo incredibly creamy but not piccante, quite mild with just the smallest hint of blue. As Samantha said, and rightly so “this sauce is so good I could eat a whole bowl of it”, and then I directed her downstairs to the cheese room where they serve cheese fondue!
Our drinks disappeared too quickly and a suitable bottle had to be chosen. Without previously discussing it I suggested a region that I love and that I was craving, to my surprise it was the one Italian red both girls knew and also enjoyed. So that bottle of 08 Cianti Classico Castello di Fonterutoli came streaming into our big wine glasses. Swirl, sniff, taste. Perfecto!
It was now time to cleanse out palate before mains. Out came 2 sorbets which brought back childhood memories for all of us sitting on a summers day sucking on frosty fruits. The flavours were so intense pineapple and mixed berry but the baby basil leaves add that very much needed savoury note. Great combinations and we all slurped this dish up very quickly.
Mains look delectable as they are served. Kelly was first with her Crispy Skin Snapper on creamed peas with sauteed shrooms. She insisted it was amazing and the mushrooms are to die for, clearly they aren’t just your standard button mushroom but a mixture of all shapes and sizes, the way it should be.
My Barramundi, mussels, tomato and spinach cooked in a bag with white wine was very delicate and light. A great choice for those long dinners when you know you will be having many courses. The fish was perfectly cooked but you can’t get over the intense flavour of the mussels which perked up the mild taste of the barra.
Finally, the most beautiful dish……Samantha’s Scampi Linguine. The looks did not deceive and she finished every last bit, hailing the chef and announcing it was the best scampi she has ever ever had. She insisted us all taste this scampi and it was outstanding. Sweet with a soft tender texture.
All starting to get full, but of course know what is coming our way. The room starts to empty and luckily so as the wine is kicking in and our conversation starts to get a little rowdier with uncontrollable laughter happining a lot more frequently now. Come on, 3 girls, a lot of wine and a birthday to celebrate, how do you expect us to act?
Only one thing shuts us up……..the presentation of dessert!
So stunning. Caramelized apple tart with candied figs and apple mint ice cream.
But my favourite is the sweet ricotta canolli. At the sight of this I tell my stomach it is going to have to cope with a chunk of gluten as this opportunity cannot be passed up…..and does it disappoint? Not at all! Just as good as Papa’s in Haberfield, and a lot less packed!!!
We stroll out of there at 10:30pm and decide the night is not over but a post dinner cocktail is in order so Prime happily accommodated our presence and soon we were sipping on espresso martinis and caprioska’s.
Kelly was completely over the moon and delighted to have spent the last few hours of her 23rd year with her sister, Samantha and I. The staff were fantastic and the food was outstanding. What a perfect atmosphere and location full of history for us two architects. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
No. 1 Martin Place
Lunch: Monday to Friday – 12pm to 3pm
Dinner: Monday to Saturday – 6pm to 10pm