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“excellent food”

Il Cacciatore Restaurant
Ranked #11 of 76 Restaurants in Pokolbin
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Italian
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Restaurant details
Good for: Groups, Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, After-hours, Lunch, Delivery, Reservations, Takeout
Description: Il Cacciatore specializes in Northern Italian Cuisine, it is not fast food. Each pasta , risotto and gnocchi is individually created in the pan, no premade sauces for us. Il Cacciatore is open from 6pm nightly. Il Cacciatore is licensed, reservations recommended Private dining room may seat up to 30 guests. The deck over looking the vineyard and dam is open during the warmer summer months, weather permitting. Take Out of pizzas and pastas are available for pick from 5pm nightly.
Reviewed 18 July 2014

I would have loved to have ordered EVERYTHING on the menu. It was a hard choice: I loved the seafood Bisque. The dining staff are really great. I want to go back.

1  Thank valjeanery
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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444 - 448 of 654 reviews

Reviewed 17 July 2014

Il Cacciatore came recommended to us and didn't disappoint. Very cosy and staff were very attentative and friendly. We both ordered the lamb shoulder which was sensational - the serving was huge which unfortunately left no room to try the tiramisu! Will definitely return when we come back to the Hunter Valley to try some of the other dishes...

1  Thank Gavin L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 July 2014

We went to this restaurant as we read some excellent reviews. But delve a little deeper than the first five review and you will notice there is inconsistency. Beware of inconsistency as it is usually a warning sign. The food was priced above average but the quality was far below average. The filet was NOT filet and burned gnocchi is definitely not pleasing to the palate. If you are visiting the area, there are far superior dining experiences to be had at similar pricing. We would never consider dining there again and left feeling like we were taken for fools.

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6  Thank Jennifer S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TimeoutSydney, Owner at Il Cacciatore Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded 15 July 2014

Dear Jennifer
Thank you for taking the time to write this review however I must say we are offended by the inaccuracies in your comments.
Firstly Il Cacciatore has been in business for 22 years. The restaurant has have been judged by Restaurant and catering the Best Italian Restaurant in the Hunter/Central Coast region for the last 13 years, it has been awarded Best Italian Restaurant in NSW for two of these years and represented NSW at the National Awards in 2011 and 2013. These awards are judged over a 3 month period by a professional judge – we do not know who they are, or when they are coming. Unfortunately Trip Advisor only attracts reviews which are extreme. I see you have written 4 reviews – two you gave a score of 5 and two you gave a score of 1 – does this mean you only write extreme reviews and don’t bother on most occasions. Lucky for us we serve between 300-400 meals a week and most of our patrons leave very happy. They don’t feel the need to tell the world about their wonderful experience, however they do tell us.
It’s interesting you say that we are priced above average - what is average. We know we are less than many other restaurants in the valley and we don’t insist on a 2 course minimum. And yes, we are more expensive than some of the other local restaurants, however they don’t offer starched white table cloths and serviettes, and wine glasses for each wine, etc. etc. etc. The prices are clearly displayed on the menu, on our website and on the display menu at the front door – if you find it expensive then maybe you needed to choose an alternative.
I can assure you that the beef fillet is in fact fillet. The dish you ordered has a primary cut (fillet) and a secondary cut (oxtail ragout) surrounding the fillet on the plate. Maybe you were thinking that the oxtail ragout was supposed to be the fillet. Our beef fillet is 21 day aged from the Upper Hunter. We buy the whole fillet, trim it, portion it and char-grill it to your specification. The oxtail ragout takes about 2 hours to prepare and compliments the fillet and the delicious crushed potatoes beautifully. I will assume the beef was cooked to perfection or you would have added that to your story. The oregano gnocchi is ‘housemade’ incorporating fresh oregano from our kitchen garden, the roast pumpkin is baked with olive oil, salt and pepper, cayenne and brown sugar. The salami is imported from Italy, then we add olives and baby spinach. The gnocchi is tossed in a hot pan to brown it a little to give it some colour and flavour prior to the other ingredients being added. If your gnocchi was ‘burnt’ why didn’t you say something at the time? It is an easy fix. We use quality ingredients and use simple cooking methods to create the best possible flavours for our dishes.
It is interesting that nothing was said on the night, like most people would do, thereby giving us the opportunity to correct the situation or offer explanations. Instead you become one of the faceless, nameless ‘reviewers’ who hide behind their anonymity. If you felt like a fool when you left it was through no fault of ours.

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Reviewed 11 July 2014

A very warm and welcoming restaurant with great staff who are very friendly and attentive.

We thoroughly enjoyed and entre of prawn and crab aranchini balls
Followed by a main of stuffed quail and a amazing fettucini bosciola

Would come back to thus restaurant in a heart beat was delish..

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1  Thank jodiehilleard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TimeoutSydney, Owner at Il Cacciatore Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded 13 July 2014

Thank you for your lovely comments.- the Prawn and Crab Arancini are certainly popular. We only wish that more people like yourselves take the time to tell us of your wonderful experience, many tell us on the evening but few bother to write a review. We look forward to welcoming you back to Il Cacciatore Restaurant

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Reviewed 10 July 2014

What has happened to this restaurant? 2 years ago my wife and I had a wonderful experience here, but just recently (July 2014) our experience could not have been worse. Both fish and scallops were served frozen in the centre, second time around the scallops were still uncooked. Service was poor and inattentive and the atmosphere was cold as the pebblecrete floor. 1.5hr to receive mains, over priced and not one apology or expression of concern from the owners when appoached...never again here!

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3  Thank Craig H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TimeoutSydney, Owner at Il Cacciatore Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded 14 July 2014

Thank you for taking the time to write your review. We take all reviews seriously and research the situation and speak to the necessary staff before responding.
Atmosphere is a personal opinion and if you felt that the atmosphere was ‘cold’ then you are entitled to say that. However, as your visit was in the middle of the school holidays and the restaurant was very busy, I can’t see how the atmosphere could have been ‘cold’! I cannot comment regarding the time your meals took, as too much time has passed to check, however I do know we have had an incredibly busy week.
I will comment on the other points you have mentioned.
With regards to your comment on ‘frozen’ scallops; the scallops are seared (slightly caramelised) on both sides in a special heavy bottom pan used only for cooking the scallops. A scallop cooked through will be tough and rubbery. We never cook scallops from frozen! They do arrive frozen as do our prawns, however they are defrosted for 24 hours in the cool room prior to being used. We always have one days scallops defrosted ahead of time, so for it to be frozen just doesn’t make sense. There are only two people who have cooked entrees over the last 2 months – myself (the owner) and our Head Chef with 30 year experience, and I can assure you we do not cook scallops from frozen. Neither of us has been asked to cook a second order of scallops for any table over the last two months. The only diner who has complained about the scallops complained to our son Cameron who offered an alternative, however that diner was not interested in allowing us ‘fix the problem’. Cameron did care which was why he offered an alternative.
Our beautiful North Queensland barramundi is delivered ‘fresh’ not frozen 3 times a week. We do not have to freeze fish because we turn it over so quickly – we are open 7 nights per week. So, the fact that it was frozen in the middle is also a weird phenomenon - normally when you apply heat to food it cooks not ‘freezes’. If you are the person who claims to have spoken to the owner (our son) your table did not in fact order Barramundi your table ordered gnocchi, veal, beef and spatchcock – no Barra!
You did not speak to either my partner or myself (the only owners) at any time, we would remember if you had. We work way too hard not to care and would have removed and replaced your meal immediately, we care about our customers.

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