Naughty @cloudcontrol of Half-Eaten blog has been singing the praises of Maria’s Trattoria, which is situated near the Queen Victoria Market, and I could ignore the siren call no longer. I used to go to Maria’s very regularly for the gorgeous pumpkin-filled agnolotti – an entree serve, which would still have me tottering out in pain, sans dessert. Sadly, when I lived in the area, I didn’t get around to going. Seeing as it was my dear partner’s birthday week, I insisted upon taking him.
Even on a Monday, Maria’s is still frantic. Our young waitress was slow, but also very apologetic, and we were in no rush, so it was okay. I saw the familiar face of one of the older ladies who works there – she has a well-coiffed copper bob. It felt like home.
Perhaps foolishly, I ordered the pasta mista for two – your choice of three pastas, served in one big plate. We chose the pumpkin agnolotti ai funghi, the tortellini alla romana, and the spaghetti con cozze. This last one was not available, and the lovely copper-bobbed waitress suggested two other selections that might suit and I said the spaghetti pescatore was more than a suitable subsitute.
Wisely, my pre-meal bread consumption was kept to a low. If nothing had changed at Maria’s, then I was guessing the serves would still be big-arse. The menus, I noted, have been reprinted and look snazzier than previously.
When the food arrived, there was no doubt that it’d be enough.
Time to get reacquainted with an old fave. I’d forgotten just how sweet the filling was. The creamy sauce and mushrooms offset this well. Still remains a favourite.
I’ve mentioned previously in my Libertine review that I’m not a big veal fan, and even less so in stuffed pasta. The tortellini, which was stuffed with veal, was delicious. It must’ve been that such examples of veal-stuffed pasta in the past were, quite bluntly, appalling.
Already full after these two stuffed pastas and there’s still the spaghetti to go!
We made a good go of it, and paid extra attention to nicking mussels, squid, and octopus tentacles. Oh okay, I did.
So with a big-arse plate of pasta, and two glasses of house red, my wallet was just over fifty dollars lighter which is excellent value for a meal for two. More importantly, the birthday lad felt pampered and such. Maria (yes, the actual lady herself!) said thank you and goodbye to us, and I left grinning like a fool.
I often forget to go out for Italian because, to be honest, it’s so readily available. This makes me forget that it can actually be good. Maria’s Trattoria is not top-end dining and does not boast a fancy wine list or anything like that, but I love its charm. It’s busy for good reason. Cheers Billy for reminding me of its existence. One friendly tip – if you’re going, make sure you take a good appetite with you. I only wish I could dine here and have room for dessert. Perhaps when I embark upon a career as a professional eater.