Restaurant Review: Sartago Restaurant Bar & Grill

Location: 460 Church Street, Richmond
Phone: 03 9427 9063
Cuisine: Mediterranean, European, Tapas
Overall Impression: 8/10
Tuscan Chef Riccardo Messora serves up the authentic flavours of the Mediterranean at his restaurant, Sartago Tapas Wine Bar in Melbourne’s Southeast suburb of Richmond. 

Drawing inspiration from the cuisines of Italy, Spain, France, Portugal and Morocco, Chef Messora utilises both old world traditional and modern techniques - the result is food that is rich, expressive, skilfully prepared and tantalising. 
Chef Riccardo's resume is impressive, previously holding high profile roles with Melbourne’s Enoteca, Café e Cucina, and Tutto Bene, as well as working in the Michelin starred Escargot Restaurant with Chef Marco Pierre White in London. It is unsurprising, therefore,  that the food is of an excellent standard. 
Sartago pays homage to Chef Riccardo's European coastal roots, taking diners on a gastronomic journey from simple and timeless peasant food to complex, lavish dishes. 

Left: Freshly house-baked Foccacia and Sourdoughs 
Right: House roasted nuts
Ceviche of fresh fish of the day, dill, citrus & almonds

We commenced our dining experience with a beautifully presented ceviche. The citrus cured fish was embellished with juicy mandarin slivers and the crunchy almonds added the wonderful touch to what was an enlivening combination of ingredients. 
Octopus salad

The octopus pieces were tender and and matched well with the medley of roasted capsicum.
Moroccan lamb fillo cigars

The lamb filled pastry cigars were delicious. Biting through the delicate, incredibly thin filo pastry, our taste buds were greeted with a flavoursome concoction of beautiful "melt in your mouth" lamb seasoned with a variety of Middle Eastern spices. 
House smoked chicken salad, cauliflower, pomegranate

This seemingly simple chicken salad was not only complex with layers of flavour, it was also perfectly balanced.  The chicken was subtly smoked leaving it moreish and tender, and it matched beautifully with the subtle sweetness of the spiced cauliflower. The fruity acidity and texture of the pomegranate provided balance. It was a magnificent dish.
Scallop and mushroom risotto

The rice in the risotto was creamy and cooked al-dente and, coupled with generous amounts of tender scallop pieces and perfectly cooked mushrooms, had a wonderful depth of flavour. 
Lamb with broad beans and asparagus

The high quality pieces of lamb were cooked perfectly to a tender and juicy pink. The accompanying jus exhibited a marvellous elegance and depth of flavour - overall a skilfully executed, exceptionally flavoursome dish. 
Homemade ricotta cheese cake, raspberries, pine nuts, brandy snap cigar
Chocolate brick, coffee mousse, flaked coconut & passion fruit

Our dinner ended on a decadently sweet end with a modern interpretation of the traditional Italian ricotta cheese cake and a delicious dessert that will please any chocolate lover.
Sartago delivers superbly executed cuisine and service with panache in bustling surrounds. Our evening was an enjoyable celebration of European and Mediteranean cuisine, often skilfully fused by Chef Riccardo with Middle Eastern techniques and spices. It is clear that Chef Riccardo cooks with skill, technique and a profound understanding of flavours that can only be built up over decades in the kitchen. 

Sartago Restaurant Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Sartago Restaurant Bar & Grill.