Nestled in the heart of King William Road’s café and restaurant precinct is the newest addition, Godi La Vita, a modern Italian eatery. Godi La Vita which translates to “enjoy life” is run by husband and wife duo Federico and Laurie Godi. Federico grew up in Florence where he learnt a wealth of expertise from some of Italy’s finest chefs and combined with his strong passion for Italian cuisine puts Federico in good stead as Head Chef at Godi La Vita.
Adelaide Food Central was fortunate enough to be invited to the official launch of Godi La Vita where we were treated to an array of Italian canapés, most of which aren’t on the regular menu (sorry folks), but nevertheless encapsulated what Godi La Vita is all about, whilst showcasing Federico’s unique take on a cuisine we all know and love.
The European-inspired fit-out at Godi La Vita was designed by Laurie herself, courtesy of her background in interior design, and boasts splashes of rose gold and greenery (think vines) throughout the small yet welcoming space. What strikes you most as you enter the restaurant is the large rose gold ‘Godi La Vita’ mural.
Godi La Vita’s menu is filled with traditional Italian dishes, with the likes of homemade gnocchi, however it also offers a delicious assortment of salads, antipastos and paninis that can be enjoyed whilst dining in or packed for a tasty meal on the run, or even enjoyed in the comfort of your own home. Godi La Vita doesn’t stop there and takes it to a whole new level with an exclusive collection of commissioned wines created alongside Nick Girolamo from Wine Resources Australia. Just for the record Godi La Vita is the first restaurant in Australia to partake in a joint venture of such calibre. Now what better way to kick start the launch festivities than with the opportunity to sample Godi La Vita’s signature wines. Being a Shiraz lover myself I jumped at the chance to enjoy a glass of the 2013 Godi La Vita Shiraz, a bright full-bodied South Australian red blended with fruit from the Langhorne Creek and McLaren Vale regions. In addition to the Shiraz, Wine Resources Australia has created a Moscato, Chardonnay, Chardonnay Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc Semillon exclusively under the Godi La Vita label for diners to enjoy.
Now what goes with vino you say… cheese… and cheese is indeed what we got! Lots and lots of cheese, whole cheese wheels in fact. I actually don’t think I have ever seen so much cheese in one place. The cheeses were sourced from Bottega Rotolo and included a Brebirousse D’Argental, or in other words an ooey, gooey wonder! This soft cheese with its bright orange rind is made from sheep’s milk and was wonderfully creamy and silky smooth. There was also a Parmigiano-Reggiano type cheese which was teamed with a drizzle of a fifteen year old balsamic, an English cloth-bound cheddar made in Tasmania matched with truffle honey (the truffle flavour was a little overpowering for my liking), and my favourite of them all, a truffle infused semi-hard matured cheese that was paired with quince paste.
Now if you hadn’t filled up on cheese like me, you hopefully had plenty of room for more of the traditional Italian delights. These included a cold cuts Antipasto Platter with homemade grissini, prosciutto and a gorgonzola cream cheese dip and let’s not forget the biggest bowl of Olives ever! There were olives of all shapes, sizes and colours and more importantly they packed a lovely chilli hit. It was about now that I discovered some scrumptious little puff pastry ‘Pizzas’ with tomato and fresh basil. So simple, yet oh-so-tasty! The pastry was perfectly crunchy and the basil added a whole new level of freshness.
Things didn’t stop there, instead we moved away from traditional and met modern Italian food in the form of Mediterranean Zucchini Rolls filled with a cream cheese filling topped with citrus wedges which made for a yummy vegetarian treat, Kingfish and Squid Ceviche with hollandaise on a buckwheat crispbread which was light and refreshing and had the fluffiest and most perfectly aerated hollandaise I have ever tasted, and bite-sized Mediterranean Meatballs. Excuse me whilst I take a breath…
Up next were Bacon-wrapped Scallops with a seeded onion jam, Breadcrumb-encrusted Mussels, followed by grilled Lamb Skewers with minted yoghurt which were tender, pink on the inside (as lamb should be) and downright finger lickin’ good.
Now in true Italian style the food just kept on coming. The standout canapé for me was the Crispy Tortelli di patate on a bed of creamy mushroom sauce. I have never had crispy pasta before, let alone pasta filled with potato, but let me tell you it was delicious and of course crispy as the name suggests. The mushroom sauce was creamy and full of flavour. Following the pasta were tiny Ham and Cheese Focaccia squares. Wow, you can never go wrong with a ham and cheese toastie and this was no exception. The sprinkle of salt on top of the lightly toasted focaccia bread made the sale for me.
The savoury food was rounded out with a Sausage and Radicchio Risotto; a combination I would have never thought of but it worked. The risotto was creamy and well-cooked but could have had more hearty chunks of sausage in it.
No Italian feast is complete without dessert… and dessert we did, in quintuplicate mind you (this is when a dessert stomach comes in very handy). There were decadent Chocolate Truffles rolled in coconut, tiny Chocolate Tarts and mini Panettone with brandy sauce, but the stars of the show for me were the baby Tiramisu and Amarena Panna Cotta; two classic Italian desserts. The panna cotta was deliciously smooth and creamy which complemented the sour Amarena cherry coulis on the top. The tiramisu on the other hand was creamy and had just the right amount of coffee flavour. I loved the addition of the shaved chocolate on top. Given that tiramisu literally means “cheer me up” it indeed hit the right spot!
Godi La Vita is open Tuesday through to Sunday for all your breakfast, lunch and dinner needs. So make sure to visit Federico and Laurie to experience an authentic taste of Italy right here in Adelaide.
Adelaide Food Central would like to sincerely thank Girl About Town for the invite and of course Federico and Laurie and their team of friendly staff at Godi La Vita for their generous hospitality on the night of the launch.
Words by Kelly Betterman
WHERE: 162B King William Rd, Hyde Park