Saturday, February 7, 2015

The Phoenix Rises, Again - Argo Restaurant, Pymble

The last couple of years have seen more restaurant closures in Sydney than I can fathom and this site in Pymble has had more than its share of those. Following a run of different cuisines and restaurateurs hoping to make a success of this upper North Shore location, ranging from well before the previously reviewed Ad Lib to the short-lived Spanish influenced Lounge 10'47 we are hopeful that Argo is to here to stay for a while.

Billed as Modern Australian, all the dishes were very appealing to our small group which encompassed eight adults and four children. With a range of pastas, tapas-style dishes, burgers and grilled meats, there is enough variety from which to choose and more than enough for a return visit.

Very family friendly, the children were served first while we adults looked on enviously and we were not disappointed.

As we wanted to try as much as possible, we started with the entire selection of a "Few Things to Share": Olives, Taleggio and Parmesan croquettes, Haloumi with Hazelnut dressing, Grilled Prawn Skewers with Cherry Tomatoes and Basil, Chicken Wings with Chilli, Garlic, Rosemary & Lemon, Chicken Liver Pate with Onion Jam and Bruschetta of the Day (ours was mushroom and fetta and alas no photo!) $6 to $14

All the flavours were wonderful, exactly as you would expect from a really great kitchen. The wings and croquettes were hot and crispy, the sourdough toast was crusty and beautifully grilled, the haloumi perfectly coloured. The pick of the dishes to share was probably the Chicken liver pate and onion jam.

On to mains, we chose:

Calamarata with Bolognaise sauce $24
As with the other pasta dishes, al dente, flavoursome and satisfying.

Beef Burger with Scamorza, pickles, bacon, beetroot relish and chips $20
Neither too big nor too small, a brioche bun, melty cheese and sauce on the side so it doesn't run down your hand, whats not to like!

Scallops with Saffron & Corn Puree, Asparagus, Burnt Butter & Sage $22
Ordered as a main without fuss from the Entree menu, this (along with a side of Chat Potatoes with Roast Garlic and Rosemary Oil $7) made for a smaller main than the more generously portioned mains on offer for someone with a reduced appetite. It was the highlight of my meal. Scallops perfectly cooked, crispy but tender. All the flavours worked beautifully together.

1/2 Rack of Pork Ribs $32
Meat lovers everywhere rejoice! It also comes in a full rack!

Orecchiette with broccoli & pine nuts $22

Spaghetti with prawns, sea urchin butter, cherry tomatoes & zucchini $26

Perhaps our appetites for overindulgence have also wained over the years but in truth, we were all so well fed after the entrees and mains that we didn't have room for dessert. Ah well, next time.

Marrying food which celebrates its ingredients in classic yet solid combinations to a background of live music in the street-front window (at least there was when we were last there on a Sunday for lunch) and you can count on a more than pleasant dining experience. Please, give it Ar-go!

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