Within the faded exterior of this old landmark hotel is a lively bar and lounge, a trio of new private rooms, and a dining room with a devoted and diverse following. It's a cosy Italianate space, with a large gilded mirror on one of its chocolate walls, bentwood chairs, white cloths and napkins on the tables. The food and service are more clearly Italian, with deft waiters temptingly listing the day's specials, and keeping watchful but not intrusive eyes on diners. Pasta dishes, including the signature torn sheets of maltagliati, make a fine beginning. House-made pasta also appears as a nest of tagliatelle, perhaps with flavourful, succulent Ligurian-style rabbit, braised olives, tomatoes and herbs. Duck and quail are always good choices – in particular the robust boned quail plump with a farro and pinenut stuffing, served on a bed of Tuscan black cabbage. Desserts may be less thrilling, although panna cotta topped with poached baby figs hits the sweet spot.
AND ... Monday is Italian night and Wednesday is duck-and-pinot night with $30 deals.
VIBE Everyone's Italian at heart.
BEST BIT Excellent waiters.
WORST BIT Choosing between bar and dining room on Wednesdays.
- 03 9429 2530
- Cuisine - Italian
- Prices - Average main $36
- Features - Accepts bookings, Licensed, Outdoor seating, Bar
- Chef(s) - Jonathan Corso, Valerio Nucci
- Owners - David Yuncken, Ros Harvey, Barnie Bouchaud, Valerio Nucci
- Cards accepted - Diners Club, AMEX, Mastercard, Visa, EFTPOS
- Opening Hours - L D Daily
- Seats - 65