Only 35 minutes away from the city, we reached the beautiful McLaren Vale. Surrounded by plenty of vineyards, we made our way onto the Main Road. I had been to a few restaurants on this road before. Lucky we stopped by this one, because I am about to show you the most amazing local produce and I am sure you be salivating when you look at these pictures. Vasarelli is a cellar door and also a restaurant. It is an Italian restaurant which dates back to the 50s. They do get quite busy so be sure to book beforehand.
We shared some crunchy bread which came out from the wood oven. It was served with olives from Willunga. Up next was a dozen of oysters served naturally. They were fresh and juicy, with a squeeze of lemon. I think we all gobbled them down in no time.
For mains, one of us had the gnocchi. They were fresh and had the perfect texture. Soft dough dumplings served in a Napoletana and basil pesto sauce, finished with pecorino cheese. It was a very filling bowl of pasta.
One of the highlights was the Orecchiette pasta tossed with prawns and beef salumi. It was a vibrant colourful dish. I could taste a little brandy in this! Yum. There was also asparagus and a hint of parmesan cheese.
The duck breast was cooked to perfection, with a slightly pink colour in the middle. It was served with smashed peas and speck. The chinotto glaze added the extra bitter sweet taste to the sauce which surprisingly worked very well together.
My favourite was the seafood stew. Oh where do I start? Perhaps the broth, it was the most amazing, flavoursome seafood broth I have ever tasted. It was full bodied, a lot of elements. Black mussels, fresh fish, prawns, scallops and baby squid. I dipped the crusty wood oven bread and licked the plate clean. I could have this dish any day!
After the scrumptious dinner, we decided to share a couple of desserts. The panna cotta and semifreddo. Panna cotta had the right consistency, the berry sauce worked nicely together. Semifreddo was extremely creamy, but in a light way. I loved the pistachio nuts with it.
I thoroughly enjoyed dining at Vasarelli restaurant. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys nice Italian food. The price is very reasonable and the servings are very generous. I will definitely be coming back next time I visit McLaren Vale.
Visit Vasarelli Cellar Door Restaurant - 169 Main Road, McLaren Vale, SA 5171 - (08) 8323 7980
Discount: Book on Yum Table and receive 25% off the total bill. (capped at $30 max)