Cecconi's Flinders Lane


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61 Flinders Lane Melbourne, VIC 3000

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Opening hours Mon-Fri 9am-late,Sat 6pm-late
Features Outdoor seating, Private dining, Bar
Prices Expensive (mains over $40)
Chef Olimpia Bortolotto & Daniel Kranjcic
Seats 130
Payments eftpos, AMEX, Visa, Mastercard
Phone 03 8663 0500

A big, classy space once the workplace of chain-smoking radio journos, Cecconi's still has a beguiling big-city feeling, the sense that business deals will be clinched here over a barolo, or engagement rings popped on top of a tiramisu. The glittering stage of the open kitchen, dark nooks, luxe timbers and fabrics, together with copious waiters and a capacious menu, promise upmarket professionalism. Fortunately nonna Olimpia, now in her seventies, still comes to the kitchen mid-afternoon to oversee the immersion of some prized goat in a vat of good wine for a five-hour simmer, giving her waiters something of the rustic traditions of Italy to enthuse about in the specials. Kingfish with blood orange vinaigrette, and a lushly crumbed cotoletta on lemony green apple and savoy pleases the sophisticates, while the suits put calamari fritti and sirloin with polenta chips on expenses. Brisk service suits the vibe, as does the polished Italian-Australian wine list.