Auge is an award winning fine dining Italian restaurant on Grote Street. This place has such a good reputation, they can get away with charging higher prices for their food. With entree prices similar to what you would pay for a main at a normal restaurant, and main prices around the $40 mark, make sure you bring plenty of money when you come here.
The food here is a combination of traditional Italian classics and interpretations of modern Italian food. The menu is seasonal and the use of fresh local produce in their menu is a highlight. The ingredients are specially picked and are of a high quality, and this is reflected in their dishes. It is also important to note that their a la carte menu is way more impressive than their bar menu.
This place is simply beautiful. Behind the double metallic doors is a place that just oozes style and sophistication. A glass partition covered by translucent drapes divides the bar area from the formal dining area. For Friday and Saturday nights, there is a minimum 2 course spend of $69 in the restaurant area, however, if you’re dining in the bar area, you can still select from the a la carte menu without the minimum spend. The atmosphere is relaxed and exactly what you would expect from fine dining.
Tonight, for entree, I ordered the Gorgonzola Salad; Italian blue cheese, pear, candied pecans, mushroom, asparagus and burnt butter. The dish was beautifully presented and could be described as art on a plate. The mushroom and asparagus were perfectly cooked. The pear was mashed with a subtle natural sweetness. All the ingredients worked surprisingly well together. It was a pity there just so little of it.
For mains, I had the Beef Fillet; MSA Black Angus beef fillet with lardo, caramelised onion puree, local mushroom, bone marrow and sorrell. The beef was lean, tender, succulent and cooked to perfection. The meat was an adequate size, and probably just enough to keep the stomach from complaining for a few hours. The onion puree was amazing and soaking the beef into the sauce was almost heavenly.
As you would expect from such an establishment, the service was right up there with the best. The laying of cloth napkins on your lap, the constant refilling of drinks, the description of the restaurant specials for the night and the quick clearing of the plates are some of the noteable points. I did receive a bit of attitude from one of the staff members at the beginning of the night which was a bit unfortunate (because I am writing this review).
There was also a problem with the billing. Not only did we ask for the bill 3 times, we were also charged for dishes that we didn’t even order. While the group had other social commitments to attend, we held up for over half an hour while we were getting the correct bill. Everything was sorted out in the end, but valuable drinking time was wasted!
Based on the reputation of this place alone, I really wanted to give it 5 stars. The service here is of a very high standard, the decor is impressive and the quality of the food is exceptional. For fine dining restaurants, I feel that an entree and main should make you satisfied, but it wasn’t the case here. I left the restaurant feeling “just full” after spending over $80 on dinner and I wasn’t impressed. Coupled with the billing debacle, I would certainly have to think twice about dining here again.
WHERE: 22 Grote St, Adelaide