Babies are unpredictable. Even more so when they’re still warmly cocooned in their mother’s womb, with no indication of when they would like to vacate. A week before my friend and ex-colleague Helen was due to have her first child, I messaged her to see if she was up to going out for dinner. “And if you give birth between now and dinner, you’re excused!” I declared.
We settled on catching up at Belmonte’s Pizzeria in Pennant Hills, as she’s currently living in the Hills and I didn’t want her travelling too far, lest her waters break while she drove to the restaurant! Our friend Sarojini joined us for the meal.
Belmontes (no connection to the Belmonte Gourmet Pizza in Gordon) is a bit of a local institution. When some colleagues asked where we were going to dinner, their immediate response was “Oh, Belmontes! I used to go there all the time as a kid! You can recognise it by the upside-down sign!”
It is the type of place that’s very family friendly. While the majority of their trade on a Monday evening seems to come from take away orders as we spent most of the time in a largely empty restaurant, you can tell how the small dining space downstairs would fit in a few families with small children, with the space filling with noise, laughter, and probably a few tiny tantrums!
Given that I was dining with two vegetarians, we opted to start healthily with a simple Mixed Green Avocado Salad. It’s very simple – but served to staunch our appetites while we waited for our pizzas to arrive.
The Field of Dreams pizza was absolutely stunning. Vegetarian pizzas can be boring, but the choice of slightly different vegetable toppings on this pizza really worked. Not a single overdone capsicum was to be seen – instead we were treated to super fresh green beans and broccoli. A definite winner, especially served on its thin crispy base.
The 4 Cheese Pizza was mouth-wateringly more-ish. The cheese blend was perfect – subtle hints of blue vein cheese that grew more intense the more you had. I can also report that this pizza is the perfect “leftovers” pizza – when you heat it up for lunch the following day, the intensity of the blue vein cheese just explodes in your mouth. Be warned though – your office may not look kindly on you for smelling out the office!
We finished our meal by sharing the Mango Delight, a scoop of mango gelato encased in a white chocolate shell. Belmontes source all their gelato from Mr Pisa Gelato, and I have to say, they make a fine choice of dessert supplier. Cracking through the white chocolate shell with your spoon and encountering smooth mango gelato encased around a little ball of chocolate…it’s pretty heavenly.
Service is a little slow and unpractised – our waitress for the evening was a young family member who was clearly still learning the ropes. However, if you’re after an excellent takeaway pizza in The Hills, you really can’t go past Belmontes!
And as for the baby? He took his time and delayed his entry into the world by well over a week. Welcome to the world baby Jack!