Bar Idda

Bar Idda, restaurant, Brunswick East, Melbourne.
Bar Idda, restaurant, Brunswick East, Melbourne. Photo: Supplied

132 Lygon Street Brunswick East, Victoria 3057

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Opening hours Mon-Sat 6-10pm
Features Vegetarian friendly, Licensed, Private dining, Gluten-free options, Family friendly, Accepts bookings, Outdoor seating, Bar, Events
Prices Moderate (mains $20-$40)
Seats 100
Payments eftpos, Cash, Visa, Mastercard
Phone 03 9380 5339

'Italian' seems like such familiar territory, until you drill down to regional specifics. Bar Idda's Sicilian menu includes curious come-hither dishes such as savoury doughnuts (with anchovy and potato) for starters. Then, there's bunny leg braised in bitter chocolate and red wine. But don't hear chocolate-braise and savoury doughnut and think 'unapproachable'. this is homey, comforting and honest food, in an embroidered-tablecloth kind of place. The Sicilian focus, expert cooking and Brunny East sensibility (including bar, and a teeny telly screening B&W Italian films) just gives Idda an appealing edge. That rabbit dish. meat tumbles off the bone into its bed of cous cous tossed with strips of cavolo nero and texturally thrilling chestnut pieces. They're not huge serves and are meant for sharing, along with, say, slices of eggplant roasted to melty-mushy sweetness, and layered with concentrated tomato passata and browned breadcrumbs. If you're not already familiar with Bar Idda, you may want to be.