Episode 7. Who knew that so many silly things happen to me? Well, I am used to it so I kind of take it as part of everyday, but for those who don’t spend a lot of time with me, you possibly need to know I am one of those kids in my generation who has a lot of energy and will try my hand at most things. Crazy things or travelling fails may be a result of never having a label and learning to manage it, or it could just simple be a gene. Wait, my family are all a tad bonkers as well. Let’s put it down to a bit of both.
Last week was our anniversary. For many years we didn’t do much at all because we were going through IVF or was pregnant (briefly) and as a result I was not drinking. With that all behind us my husband booked a night away this year. This time of year is very hard for him. He has Mother’s Day, our anniversary and my birthday all within about 5 weeks of each other. He is a committed ‘panic’ shopper, which means he is often at the shops 6 hours before the date and running around in need of buying ‘something’. With that in mind, forward planning is something you have to really appreciate when it happens.
I have wanted to go to Bell’s at Killcare for ages. It’s not really a kid friendly place. More a babymoon or honeymoon kind of place. I am sure they are professional enough to welcome children, it’s just the kind of place that you as a parent feel uncomfortable when your children run around madly. It’s often on the top small luxury places to go and certainly a peaceful and easy getaway from Sydney.
If you have been eating at amazing places in Sydney for some time, circa the late 90’s there was an amazing restaurant called Bel Mondo’s . It was dreamy. Sure, Quay’s egg is great, and Café Sydney have a great view. Bel Mondo was the whole package. Too often I find restaurants have no ambience. No character. No love. I find it hard to enjoy, I mean really enjoy food that is served in an up-itself environment and no warmth. You would walk into Bel Mondo’s and feel like you have already had a glass of champagne.
Manfredi may of simply been looking for a lifestyle change or perhaps he thought he wanted a new challenge, but sold Bel Mondo’s in 2002. Upon opening, it gained 2 hat status within a few months (for overseas guests, we don’t have Michelin stars here… so the hat process is how restaurants are judged) Other awards include Best New Restaurant (1997), Best Restaurant Sydney City (1998) and Best Restaurant NSW (1999) at the American Express Good Food Guide Awards. Often reviewed as the best Italian food in Sydney, you can see why I am blabbing on.
Dividing his time between Pyrmont and the Central Coast, he oversees the menus in Osteria Balla Manfredi and PIZZAPERTA at The Star, along with Pretty Beach House and Bells on the Central Coast, an hour and a half north of Sydney.
With all that rabbiting on you can understand the excitement I had to be going to Manfredi’s for our anniversary dinner. I have followed this guy for a long time and he is one of the original ‘star’ chefs of Sydney. To add to my existing knowledge, I had been ‘juicing’ for the best part of a week and then raw food only for another 3-4 days. Not only was I eating actual food, but eating Manfredi’s menu.
What could go wrong? Here I am, we’ve arrived at our table. I have removed my wrap (cover-up) after walking from our room to the main house, and walked through the restaurant to the far side of the room to our table. I sit at the table. We have water brought to the table, we order a cocktail. I drink the cocktail and we order wine. I move in my seat to adjust my dress. The dress that I haven’t zipped up. The dress that is gapping open. I’ve walked through the restaurant trying to look all sophisticated and elegant and yet, my dress is gapping open and undone. I have serious problems do I not? Undressed at Manfredi’s! How humiliating.