Cafe * Pizzeria * Wine bar
Three little words that are making my heart sing. Not uncommon words, but they are rare when seen painted on a new eatery around the corner from us in West Footscray's Barkly Village. This strip has Thai, fish and chips and numerous Indian places but until now we had to take a short car ride to Seddon or Yarraville for something like a wine bar. There is one other little cafe in Barkly Village but I've never been impressed with the service and menu and it's not open at night.
Enter Gusto At Barkly. Formerly a more traditional pizza joint (Mamma Teresa), the shop has undergone a massive renovation by the new owners and is now a fresh, clean space with modern, industrial features. The exposed brick wall is a favourite.
So too is the huge share table in the middle under Ikea pendant lamps.
My excitement for this place was such that we went on opening night this week and it packed out despite the pouring rain. They say (whoever 'they' are) that it's very poor practise to review a place on opening night but I just couldn't help myself. There's not much to critique harshly anyway, just some spasmodic service that is to be expected on the first night. We were shown to a table straight away and although we had to wait a few times, for the bill etc, the service was always friendly. Overall, the vibe was upbeat and welcoming.
There are plenty of starters to choose from on the menu but the Mister and I opted to skip them as it was a weeknight and we were heading to the gym later. It was straight into sharing a salad and two small pizzas.
Rocket, pear and parmesan salad ($7)
9 inch Prawn Star pizza rosso (tomato base) - sugo, chorizo, tiger prawns, chilli, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella and basil $17
Traditional BBQ chicken pizza $14 (can you guess who chose this?!)
Chocolate and hazelnut semifreddo $8
Everything was delicious and we didn't leave a thing on our plates. The pizza base was not as thin as I like but that's personal preference. The sweet ending to our meal was an amazing semifreddo. The generous serving was plenty for both of us but I wanted it all. Couldn't get it down fast enough! Seemed like it needed a few more minutes out of the freezer before serving, although I am a bit of a guts and certainly no semifreddo expert.
And now for the coffee. None other than my new favourite, Coffee Supreme and the best cup you will find on Barkly Street. I could not be happier to have Gusto At Barkly within comfortable walking distance of home. Thank you
Lord Bec and team for bringing lovely caffeine, tasty morsels and a fabuolous atmosphere to the neighborhood. Hope this is the start of a wonderful, prosperous year in Barkly Village.
Verdict: Cannot wait to return on a balmy evening to experience the outdoor dining area. Looking for a new dining companion though as the eggplant chips with garlic aioli are really calling my name but a certain Mister hates eggplant!