The front entrance to Pastorale in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia.

This weekend past Adam and I spent an evening at one of Wagga Wagga’s newer restaurants, Pastorale. Pastorale is run by the owners of local coffee/wine bar Meccanico and there is a similar vibe shared amongst the two sites. Minimal menus with simple ingredients, a strong focus on interior design and an attention to detail that certainly elevates the experience…

Adam had originally booked a table at Pastorale for a work dinner with an associate who was coming to Wagga for business. There was a last minute cancellation, so instead of losing the table Adam decided we should take advantage and have a night out. It turned out to be absolutely perfect timing, as Adam finished a year-long course he’d been taking through the University of Canberra the day of our evening out.

Pastorale is housed within the Riverine Club – a member’s only club that has a long local history. Both Adam and I have been to a number of events there and it’s certainly got that ‘old world’ feel with leather Chesterfield sofas, open fire places and long banquet style tables. Pastorale gives a nod to that history in its decor, but with a modern spin. The interiors rely heavily on dark colours, sumptuous textiles and soft lighting. It was a truly lovely space to sit and enjoy a meal in.

The interior of Pastorale in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia.

Speaking of food, we started our night with a glass of Malbec and a bowl oil drenched olives. Uncomplicated but extremely tasty. We then opted to share the bistecca alla fiorentina – a charcoal cooked 900g cut of black angus, served with a herbed Chianti butter – along with a broad bean salad with zingy vinaigrette dressing and roasted potatoes with rosemary salt. It was stunning – beautifully cooked meat full of flavour, that literally melted in your mouth, tempered with basic but well executed sides. We finished by sharing a spiced dark chocolate tart and a cheese platter.

While I wouldn’t describe the portions are large, Adam and I finished every morsel on our plates and left satisfying full. We’d had enough to eat without feeling bloated or like we’d over-indulged Our server for the evening was prompt, chatty and fun and if you like a glass or two of wine, the in-house list is extensive.

We were seated near a large open door, and given it was unseasonably chilly on the night we visited, Adam and I both felt a little cold. There was also a rather large, loud group seated outside near us which made conversation a little difficult at times – but after such a trying 12 months I’m not going to begrudge anyone for having a jolly night out. The musical playlist felt like it need a little more curation but that’s a minor bugbear really.

Looking through a wine glass to restaurant Pastorale in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia.

The restaurant has a fine dining feel, and prices reflect that… so if you’re after cheap and cheerful, this isn’t the place to go. Adam and I so thoroughly enjoyed our meal and the space that I feel Pastarole will become our ‘go-to’ for special evenings out. If you live locally, enjoy good food and good wine and you haven’t been yet, I’d definitely recommend making a booking.

Have a wonderful week.

M. x

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