Fourth Village Providore

Ladies who lunch now have a new spiritual home in Mosman- yet Fourth Village Providore is much more than just a place to parade nautical stripes, golf tans and designer prams.

There aren’t many places which make me yearn for my youthful origins of the north shore- but the advent of the Fourth Village Providore is making me skip across the bridge with increasing frequency.

Put simply- this is a food lover’s mecca. Simon Johnson and Jones the Grocer may have their temperature controlled cheese rooms. My darling Fratelli Fresh has produce that make my heart skip and sigh, and their Cafe Sopra has a saintly way of making the most of what’s in season each day. But Fourth Village has done some turns around the board and picked up a little from all.

With the kitchen having the accompanying providore’s temperature controlled cheese room, prime produce and house pressed olive oil as a playground, what winds up on the plate at the restaurant/ cafe is a pleasant mix of the seasonal and inventive, with a gentle Italian lilt.

At breakfast and lunch Dean Wilkinson* presents a menu that reinvents itself weekly.

In the warmer weeks the lunch menu was awash with nifty variations on the salad theme; from rustic hunks of buffalo mozzarella layered with tomatoes, basil and blistered peppers; to a pompadour of prosciutto and rocket with the delightfully kitsch addition of balls of melon. I spy a lot of women rustling through their third drawers for the mellon baller after that week.

This is food perfect for those who like to share. At lunch generous proportioned bowls of pasta and wooden boards of antipasto invite family style dining. What’s yours is mine, particularly if yours has gorgonzola on it.

Meanwhile a glass of the House 2006 Verdhello (which really is the house wine, from the family vineyard in the Hunter Valley) is a tidy supporting act to twin servings of baked goats cheese-one topped with aged balsamic and ribbons of fire roasted peppers, the other drizzled with honey and festooned with a trail of toasted pine nuts. I could happily eat these every lunch time for the rest of my life.

Fourth Village as a space is both light and modern, but accompanied by the amplifying effects of hard surfaces. Anyone needing to soothe a restless child or stage an intimate meeting would be best to snaffle a courtyard facing outdoor table. Apart from the bar and glimpses at the bounty beyond in the providore, the wood fired oven is the only other dominant feature of the white open room. During the day roasted vegetables for relishes (which are for sale at the providore) dance through the fire’s open yawn, pizzas remain the flame’s top priority. This is particularly the case at night when both the menu and chef change down a gear.

In the evening at Fourth Village the food comes with a slightly heavier hand- though the grilled baby calamari with braised cannellini beans and a touch of chilli remains a stand out on the bilingual menu. At 6pm on a Saturday night we found it chock full of families eating pizza and keeping a watchful eye over games of tag in the council courtyard. Anyone wanting to linger over date night will need to secure a booking for the second seating at 7.45pm to make sure they’ve enough time to linger over cheese and finish a bottle of red from the Italian and Australian list.

Whatever time of day, when it comes to dessert it’s hard to go past the childish glee that accompanies Fourth Village’s glutinous servings of Bravo gelato. The green apple may be a summer stand out, but for me; hazelnut is a classic that will never date.

There are minor irritations; at night pizza is a little flaccid with a greater than needed heft of cheese and the tiramisu is an overly creamy disappointment that fails to live up to the ‘pick me up’ promise of it’s name. Flagons of house wine might be friendly inclusions to the list, and it might be sensible for the website to clarify that in the evenings the entrance to the restaurant is actually from through the council courtyard.

Still, this is a place with so much promise, in an area gagging for good food destinations.

Being a lady who lunches has never held so much appeal. Now I just need to work on my golf swing.

(NB Dean Wilkinson left the kitchens of Fourth Village in November 2009)
Fourth Village Providore on Urbanspoon

  1. Yum! Just be careful of golfer’s arm. You don’t want it to affect your eating elbow.

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  3. Hi there
    I have been in Forth Village and I agree with you. It's beautiful, the food it's authentic and tasty. You can feel the influence of the Italian Executive chef.

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