Candelori’s Ristorante e Bar, Smithfield ($$)

Address: 685 The Horsley Dr, Smithfield NSW

Tel: http://www.candeloris.com.au/

Website: (02) 9729 1155

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This review was written by MC for TCFB.

Candelori’s is owned and operated by the Candelori family since 1999 and provides a beautiful, high quality venue for social and business occasions in the Western Suburbs of Sydney. Located in Smithfield, Candelori’s has recently undergone an extensive renovation and a revitalisation of their menu.P1000227

P1000231This is my (MC’s) first solo review for the Casual Food Blogger and I was glad to be part of the big reopening night for Candelori’s. I have previously been to Candelori’s many times since their beginning in 1999, and looked forward to seeing the freshly renovated restaurant.

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Atmosphere

Candelori’s has always been a very classy restaurant and a popular venue for special occasions, family celebrations and general social dining.P1000190

The location is unique, being in Smithfield in Sydney’s west, as most fine dining restaurants are located in the City and East..

The restaurant has undergone a renovation to coincide with an updated menu.

The restaurant has as a formal dining venue in an area generally such special occasions are reserved for a trip into the city or elsewhere.

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Once inside, the atmosphere, décor and quality of service make you think that you are in the heart of the city. There is a sense of elegance around the restaurant and this is amplified by the colours, fittings and decorations. The interior designer should be applauded as they have created a formal dining restaurant equal to or greater than many of the same category of restaurants located in the CBD or elsewhere.

Service

On previous visits to Candelori’s, their service has always been outstanding and the launch party night was no exception, with the wait staff friendly, helpful and prompt in checking on the status of drinks, clearing empty plates and restocking table water, bread plates and any other items on the tables.

For drinks I was offered a glass of House White Wine upon arrival and I kept with that for the evening, until having to stop since I was driving. There was also a House Red available on the tables, with the wait staff refilling both very promptly. A choice of sparkling or still water was also available for the table, again the staff being quick to exchange an empty bottle for a new one.

Food

The menu for the launch party consisted of trademark dishes from Candelori’s as well as a selection of items from the updated menu.

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Before being seated, there was an array of appetisers available, including olive tasters, antipasto and a mozzarella twisting demonstration.

The Stuzzichini (“Finger Food”) items were the first of the food items to be brought out. Though not being a fan of olives normally, the crumbed (and fried!) olives were very nice and I don’t mind saying that I had 4 of them. The mixed bruschetta plates were also very nice, with the tomato, basil and garlic on ciabatta bread being a great combination of fresh tomatoes and well-cooked, crunchy bread.

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Crumbed Stuffed Green Olives

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Mixed Bruschetta

La Tavolata (“The Table”) followed soon after, with a wide range of dishes being brought out in groups of three at a time, being shared between six people. This allowed each person to have one serving whilst allowing for those who desired a second.

The Antipasto Board carried a range of thinly sliced meats, Sardinian crisp bread and parmigiano cheese which served as more of an additional entre rather than part of the main. The meats were smoked and cooked to perfection with the bread living up to its crisp name.

The Octopus Carparccio had a fresh taste with a moist texture befitting an octopus dish. The octopus pieces were finely cut and saturated in the marinade, with the aromas of all the ingredients well present.

The Buffalo Mozzarella was nothing short of fantastic, with the taste and texture making it one of the best cheeses I have ever eaten. This was the favourite amongst the ‘first round’ of dishes.

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Antipasto Board

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Octopus Carpaccio

The next batch of dishes started with Zucchini Flowers, stuffed with ricotta cheese and spinach, covered with a lightly fried batter. The crunchy exterior and warm soft interior textures provided a nice combination of flavours in the mouth.

Also included was a dish of Oven Baked Figs. Admittedly the green of the figs did not look appetising, however once tasted that thought vanished. The prosciutto taste added to the flavours of the fig and the gorgonzola sauce.

The favourite of this dish was definitely the Gamberi in Tegame, consisting of tiger prawns, cherry tomatoes in a sauce containing olive oil, garlic, parsley, pomodoro and chill. This dish had all the flavours and textures I enjoy.

Lastly for this batch was the Gnocchi with Duck Ragu. An interesting dish, the meat was cooked perfectly and the sauce was rich, thick and very flavoursome.

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Zucchini Flowers

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Oven Baked Figs

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Gamberi in Tegame

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Gnocchi with Duck Ragu

Two pizzas were included in the menu however only one made it to our table, which was a disappointment. The pizza I did sample was the Woodfired Pizza Margherita D.O.C. Anybody who loves pizza would appreciate the base, toppings and crust of this pizza. The rich cheesy and tomato flavours combined with a crispy base and crust make for a great meal. I went for seconds (and perhaps thirds).

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Woodfire Margherita

The final dish of the night was, in my opinion, the best and I was glad I allowed extra room for dessert. The Crespelle was a mascarpone crepe with rich dark chocolate crushed hazelnuts. A raspberry was added for a fresh texture, but the taste of the chocolate inside the crepe was fantastic and my only disappointment was when I had very quickly eaten all of it. Let this be a lesson for all to save room for dessert; this was brilliant and a great way to end the food servings.

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Crespelle

Summary

Candelori’s is a wonderful experience for those seeking a formal, elegant Italian restaurant. For those who rarely venture west of the Sydney CBD, it is assured to be well worth the visit for the quality of food and service you will receive.

The proprietors should be proud of their achievement and continue to give customers an exposure to the kind of high quality dining normally reserved for waterfront boutique venues.

Rating:

I would rate my experience (out of 10):

  • Service: 9/10
  • Food: 9/10
  • Ambience: 8.5/10
  • Value: 7.5/10

MC dined courtesy of Candelori’s and Wasamedia.  All opinions are however, our own.

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