16 June 2008

Third Avenue Cafe and Pizzeria

We arrived at the Third Avenue Café without any expectations at all. We did not Google any restaurant reviews before going, we had not spoken to anybody who had been, and our experience of the café was limited to one phone call with the chef to reserve our Thursday night table. This single phone call was to set the tone for the entire evening, as upon confirming our reservation, chef said ‘you’ll really enjoy your night’, and my oh my, never was a truer word spoken.

We have fallen head over heals in love with the Third Avenue Café. That’s love people – more than a teenage crush, more than adulterous lust, more than a clandestine affair – it’s shout it from the roof tops and jump on Oprah Winfrey’s couch style love.

As we write this review we are so excited about this place so we thought it would be easier to simply provide a summary of reasons for our love, so here goes:

1. While the Third Avenue Café is not going to win any architectural or interior design awards, it is a comfortable, roomy café which is not too noisy but still provides a good amount of bustling café atmosphere. There’s a large outdoor area that’s kept warm in winter with an abundance of heaters and would be a great place to sit in summer.

2. The menu has plenty to offer – an extensive selection of entrees, several home made pastas, a good sized list of delicious sounding mains, a page of wood fired pizzas and a blackboard detailing freshly made home cooked specials.

3. It’s BYO.

4. The calamari was cooked to perfection – a great mix of squid rings and other bodily parts of the squid, very lightly battered and fried so the squid was crispy and not chewy. Brilliant.

5. The Blogger’s traditional order of the tasting plate was outstanding. An eclectic mix of tiny morsels of deliciousness. We could have ordered one each again for our mains.

6. Friendly unassuming service that was not in your face but always attentive. A rarity in this city.

7. A breathtaking duck leg with risotto main which seemed to involve more than half a crispy skinned duck.

8. The Café De Paris butter. Now this was probably the highlight. The Sponge’s enormous steak came with a generous dollop of this most delicious substance. So enamoured by the flavours, so overwhelmed by the deliciousness, so excited by the concept, The Sponge hunted down chef to ask what was involved in making such a fine steak accompaniment. ‘Well’, said chef Anthony, ‘there are many different recipes, but traditionally it involves butter, herbs such as chives, dill and rosemary and a whole range of other sauces, spices and flavours’. He went on ‘you know what, I made a big batch last night, I will give you some to take home’. What a generous offer! we thought, but we didn’t really expect that the chef would actually follow through it. How wrong we were, as we left Anthony presented us with an enormous parcel of Café De Paris butter for enjoyment in our own home. What bliss! What generosity! What kindness! We were overcome with happiness. The warm glow is still with us today.

9. Home made ravioli. Delicious, hot, al dente ravioli with a different filling every day.

10. A chalkboard desert menu filled with tempting home made treats. Despite being savoury supporters all the way, the bloggers succumbed to the dessert menu and didn’t regret it.

11. A lovely chef. The Deliberator enjoyed several private chats with Anthony outside the restaurant and he was more than happy to explain the menu to us. Over and over again for The Deliberator, but always with a smile and enthusiasm.

12. It’s great with crowds too – we wanted to test our love for Third Avenue Café by bringing a group of 10 to the restaurant on a Friday night. The service was seamless, wine buckets were plentiful and no one even remotely looked like they were going to ask us to leave after our 4th hour there.

In Summary

Service: Unassuming but efficient.

Food: Amazing. Excellent quality produce combined with great care and imagination resulted in superb food.

Ambience: Pretty standard Perth café ambience.

Highlight: The Café De Paris butter.

Lowlight: We won’t even dignify this with an answer.

Rating: 4.8 succulent steaks out of 5.

Will we be back? We already have been.

Details: Visit their website on
www.thirdave.com.au or call them on (08) 9271 6033. The bill worked out at about $55 per head for 3 courses and corkage.

Coming up: Peking Chinese Restaurant here we come!

Third Avenue on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

You're back! Your inexorable tide of opinion along Beaufort St has been missed. Oh, and congratulations on the kid.

grrlfrommars said...

I was fortunate enough to go to the Third Avenue Cafe with my significant other for an insignificant anniversary last week.

We shared the Pizza Bianca for entrée and it was delightful – the right balance of oil and salt, and the addition of salted prosciutto made it impossible to leave any slices on the plate.

For main I had the Double Roasted Duck and it was absolutely divine. The meat was so tender and the skin so crispy. It was served on a lovely Mushroom Risotto that could have been a separate dish on its own. After polishing off the entire duck I could barely eat the risotto, but forced myself spoonful by spoonful... because I just couldn't get enough.

I was eyeing off the dessert menu but just couldn't fit any more in. The Golden Syrup Dumplings with Icecream and Honeycomb sounded good, and should it be available when I return (yes I will be returning, and hopefully very soon) I will absolutely try them.

The staff were so friendly, it was nice to be farewelled by the chorus of chefs as we left. This place is a little gem!

Beaufort Street Bloggers said...

Hi anonymous - we're glad to be back too. We will do our best not to leave you again for so long.

Grrlfrommars - Third Avenue Cafe is the perfect spot to celebrate an insignificant anniversary - good pick! The golden syrup dumplings sound amazing, we will certainly give them a go on our next visit, if, as you say, they are available.

Margaret, Clive & Zoe said...

Hello BSBs

Actaully we have already been to Third Ave Cafe & was suitably impressed. We tried to go again last weekend but alas they weren't open on Sunday. Went back to Mille Cafe but will try another time. When we did go the chef made a special meal (chicken nuggets) for miss junior. Also impressive!

Anonymous said...

G'day BSB,

Based on the rave reviews here, I managed to get the third ave cafe last weekend and would definitely go back. Have to say the Pizza Bianca was a highlight for me.

This must be the premier restaurant review website in Perth. Your altruistic sacrifice by trawling though a sea of mediocrity to find a few shining beacons for the rest of us is commendable. Looking forward to more installments.

Beaufort Street Bloggers said...

Hi again magaret, clive and zoe - the chef at Third Avenue is certainly accommodating, we are most impressed to hear about the special chicken nuggets.

anonymous - the 'premier restaurant review website in Perth' - whoo hoo! What a compliment, thanks! Our journey so far has been extremely enlightening. Who knew Jessie's Curry Kitchen and Cafe would be so good? Who knew that the Civic Hotel even had food? We're learning so many new things and it would have just been selfish to keep all that knowledge to ourselves.. Stay tuned, we'll have a new post up soon.

Anonymous said...

I hate to go against the tide here but...after reading the recommendations on here we booked into third avenue last night and have to say left feeling pretty disappointed. Maybe they were just having an off night but we won't be returning to find out. The service was poor, inattentive and a bit muddled. The waiter came to apologise for the delay of our squid, which had actually already been eaten and taken away. When we said we were waiting for our mains he replied with an obvious "there's a delay in the kitchen" and left. The wait for both our appetiser (the squid, which I must say was delicious) and our main was far too long. The wait between appetiser and main was close to 40 minutes, with no apology when it eventually arrived. I had the veal osso bucco , which was barely luke warm, and there wasn't a waiter in sight to complain to. When we went to pay for our meal, the waiter did enquire whether we had enjoyed our meals, however he failed to listen to our response, which would have given him an indication that we were pretty disappointed, his attention was clearly elsewhere. A disappointing end to a disappointing experience.

Beaufort Street Bloggers said...

Hi Anonymous. Your evening does sound disappointing, what's particularly upsetting is the luke warm osso bucco. That would have been heartbreaking on a winter's night.

Perhaps if the Third Avenue Cafe is reading this they could post a reply?

Thanks very much for the feedback. We will note that we do stand by the original review and have been back again and had another great meal. We hope your experience is not a sign of things to come.

Third Avenue said...

Hi BSB's

Just a quick note that we appreciate all your support and positive feedback.

However we would like to apologise to Anonymous. That particular night we were busy and had two staff down . We had to rely on temporary staff who had never worked in the restaurant before. It is unfortunate because our usual team is committed to good food and service. We hope that you will give us another try to rectify your bad experience!

Thanks Again

Third Avenue Team

Beaufort Street Bloggers said...

Hi third avenue - thanks for the response - we also hope that anonymous gives you another go.

Beaufort Street Bloggers said...

Hi third avenue - thanks for the response - we also hope that anonymous gives you another go.

Beaufort Street Bloggers said...

Just a quick comment to say that the Brains and the Deliberator recently had another outstanding meal at Third Avenue. The squid on the tasting plate is just so goddamn good.

Glenn said...

Im sold... Booked in for Wednesday night.

Beaufort Street Bloggers said...

Hi everyone. Look, we know we've harped on about Third Avenue Cafe, but we have to say that we recently went back again, and once more were extremely impressed.

The usual squid is still the best around town, the ravioli is perfection and this time we also had rabbit which was out of this world. Thanks again chef and the rest of the team, your cafe is a great asset to the area.

Robert said...

Made the first visit to Third Ave due to the recommendations of this website and have to say, very impressed. Food was outstanding and delivered in good tome, and our young waitress (who was surprisingly not the manager) was incredibly helpful and accomodating, delivering exceptional service. Will be back.

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