Friday, March 22, 2013

Back in Queensland

Once again I missed posting Wednesdays in France (lots more to come) - the reason is that I'm on the Gold Coast to see my father who is in hospital up here. Before I go any further, he is OK with a slight heart thing they are saying but he's in good spirits and that maybe that he has my brother and sister, my daughter and myself all around him. By the way we are celebrating birthdays next week so it is good to all catch up even under the circumstances. Jack turns 92, my daughter Carly is 40 and me 63.

Anyway I had an opportunity to enjoy a really nice dinner with Carly last night. The restaurant is called de Vito's and run by Anthony. I tend to go to de Vito's when up here because I love his food and he's got a great personality. His brother David is a singer with a huge voice and the parents are from Naples, settling firstly in Adelaide before moving to the Gold Coast. Anthony's father suffers from dementia these days but still serenades young ladies in the restaurant occasionally.

Apologies for the quality of pics - they are all taken on the iPhone.
A 2007 Cabernet Franc from the Granite Belt Region - Ballandean.
A present from the owner/chef Anthony.
I'd forgotten that de Vito's is BYO wine and I can't eat without wine. Anthony offered a bottle from his own collection as legally he can't sell it. so he enjoyed a glass from the bottle that we will say he gifted to us. Now I've not had any reds from Queensland that I've enjoyed in the past but I have to say that I was most pleasantly surprised.

Mussels on pasta, with chilli and garlic - the chilli gave that warm feeling to the pallet and a  touch of lime squeezed over gave it balance and cut the heat of the chilli. 
As much as I enjoyed my Mussels, Carly's ravioli was spectacular.
Anthony takes great pride in his kitchen and you can see he has that true Italian passion for food (and life). Our entrees arrived, mine was mussels on a bed of pasta. The mussels had a real chilli and garlic flavour and were superb. Carly had an entree of pasta which I tasted and next time I'm here I'll have it.
She described it as two types of pasta, Ravioli with pumpkin, sweet potato and biscotti. The other had spinach, rocket, feta and ricotta as ingredients - I may have mixed them up.
The sauce was a sage, chilli and butter and Carly needed to mop it up with bread, leaving a very clean plate.
My main was a veal with peppercorn sauce - I was on the way to having some heat issues after my chilli mussels.
The main although traditional was well cooked with love and was delicious. The Cabernet Franc was a good partner to my main.
Anthony's Sicilian date and fig pudding was share by Carly and I. Yummmmmm.
Our mains although not exotic, were just as enjoyable as our entree - just good Italian food well cooked with love.
The finale was another highlight. Although we didn't order a desert. Anthony insisted we try his Sicilian date and fig pudding with a dob of vanilla ice cream - well, it was magnificent.
As you know, I'm spoilt at home but this really was a delightful meal and I enjoyed it with my daughter, just the two of us.

Anthony in his kitchen with staff - he is a big generous man with a personality to match.
It's Friday morning and so we are off to visit Jack and hopefully he hasn't been harassing the nurses too much - he has the devil in him sometimes (most times).

My Dad, Jack only weeks ago saying hello to me in Melbourne via phone message.
He's a good lad.
Although we flew up, my brother and I are returning by car - Jack's little Daewoo has been given to my brother as Jack has stopped driving. I expect that there will be a post on our journey back through three states of Australia over 2 days. Keep tuned.


  1. All the best to your Dad Leon. That food looks lovely.

    1. Thanks Craig for you good wishes for Dad and the food is always good at De Vitos.
      It is my favorite place when here.

  2. My dad is 90 and my mum is 88, and 3 weeks ago they had to move out of their independent villa unit into a low care facility. it isn't easy, I know! Whatever decision is made is unlikely to leave the parent (s) totally happy and in control.

    Your dad seems to be doing well! I wish him a healthy and peaceful older age.

    1. Hels, sounds like you DNA will also give you a long and healthy life. My Dad is very cheeky with the nurses in the hospital. He's definitely on the improve.

  3. Hi Leon, sorry to hear that your Dad is not so well and we hope that he makes a good recovery - keep us posted.

    Carol & Michael

    1. Just about to pop into the hospital now - He can't wait to escape.

  4. Sorry to hear your dad has been poorly. I hope he continues to perk up.
    Your meal looks lovely. Good Italian restaurants are hard to find around here. They are either mediocre pizza and pasta joints (which are ok but not truly very authentic) or rather pretentious. Carluccio's comes nearest to our taste but we have to travel a fair distance to eat there, which I did recently.

    I hope your son has escaped the awful weather in London this weekend. We are almost snowed in.....the road is just about passable - and Nick has just landed at Heathrow so has to fight his way up the M1 for 3 hours - luckily in a taxi.

    Bon weekend !!

    1. Yes Jean, I have been keeping up with your posts and weather in the UK. Read this morning on Nick's trip home. He'll look forward to a cuddle when he gets in the door.
      Andrew our son is off to France in a few weeks and away from London weather.
      Carluccio's, wow! I'll tell Sue.
      We are actually spoilt especially in Melbourne for Italian (and Greek) eateries.
      Jack is looking good now and hopes to escape from hospital soon.

  5. Very sorry to hear about your Dad but hope that they soon solve the problem and that he is quickly back home.
    Looks like you had a fantastic meal out, I really like Italian cooking. I hope that all is well with you two as well. Take care D & N

    1. Diane,
      Dad will recover well with minor restrictions on his mobility and will still enjoy some time on his exercise bike and dream he is out riding Le Tour.
      We both enjoy Italian food at home as well but Anthony at De Vitos is my favorite spot on the Gold Coast.

  6. Your Dad is such a good looking man. I hope all is well after this mishap and is on his way to recovering nicely.
    It should be a nice ride going down the Gold coast back home. Have a safe, pleasant trip!

    1. Nadege - I'll let my Dad know that you think he's "Hot" (for a 92 year old).
      He will be much better that we thought he was going to be.

      Coming down the coast by car would have been great had we had more time however I was on a schedule and so we couldn't enjoy it as much as we would have liked.
      The trip was just under 2000 kms - we have a huge country as you do.


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