Instead of agonising over menu choices you would be free to enjoy conversation while food flows to the table on share plates for everyone to pass around and taste.
Now just change the location and put your dinner party in Tartufo for Tony Peruoco's Chef's Table and you have a matching experience.
Tony is your host for the night, inquiring whether you have any dietary issues or preferences and checking how the night is going as you progress through the courses.
He cooks the food he grew up with, using seasonally fresh local produce except for the Italian olives and parmesan cheese which says Australians just don't make with the same flavours.
Expect arancini balls made to Tony's mother's recipe, local calamari flash fried for five minutes, braised veal that was his childhood favourite and other recipes gleefully stolen from his brother.
One of the best things about this chef's table is the food just keeps coming. Tony has set the price at $50 per person with a minimum of six people to a table. It looks pretty good value to me.
Here's what we ate -
|Salumi Misti - traditional Italian antipasto|
|Insalata caprese - fresh sliced tomatoes topped with mozzarella, basil and extra virgin olive oil|
|Vitello tonnato - Braised Gippsland veal served cold, thinly sliced, topped with a tuna mayonnaise of capers, anchovies and served with cornichons|
|Arancini - traditional rice balls filled with fresh peas, parmesan, mozzarella and tomato|
|Gnochetti sardi ai piselli - house made small shell shape pasta with onion, pancetta, fresh peas and pea puree, pepper and pecorino cheese|
|linguine ai funghi - house made long flat pasta served with a medley of seasonal mixed wild mushroom, chilli and finished with parmesan and parsley|
|ravioli al pomodoro - house made ravioli filled with ricotta, spinach, nutmeg and served with a sauce of tomato, butter and basil topped with parmesan cheese|
|semifreddo al torrone - hazelnut, nougat semifreddo served with crostoli and espresso sauce.|
Tony's food journey began in his family’s restaurant in Naples, Italy. While most young boys dream of becoming firemen, fighter pilots or police officers, Tony dreamt of becoming a chef.
“At Tartufo we serve food and wine that I love," Tony says. "My inspiration comes from Naples and the surrounding areas of Umbria, Abruzzo and Tuscany. We cook with love and local, seasonal produce to provide the optimum taste that can be delivered. In every dish you will experience quality produce cooked the classic Italian way”.
Tony's love of cooking and passion for Italian food show up in every mouthful.
Bottom line: An easy and economical way to dine out with friends who love Italian food.
Best tip: If some of your friends have very special dietary needs check with Tony before hand.
Tartufo Ristorante Italiano + Wine Bar, 1000 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane.
Disclaimer: Ed+bK was a guest of Tartufo for this dinner.