Osteria La Passione

Osteria La Passione.
Osteria La Passione. Photo: Eddie Jim

486 Bridge Road Richmond, Victoria 3121

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Opening hours D Tues-Sat
Features Accepts bookings, BYO, Degustation, Events, Groups, Licensed, Private dining, Romance-first date, Wheelchair access
Prices Expensive (mains over $40)
Chef Carmine Costantini
Seats 34
Payments eftpos, Visa, Mastercard
Phone 03 9428 2558

Pot luck has never seemed so fortunate. Book a table – you'll be asked about dietary requirements – and then trust in the pleasures of what will come in this tiny, welcoming place. Dishes change according to what the chef has picked from the garden, has on display in the cabinet, or sourced from friends. There's no menu but three or six beautiful courses, all in the Italian style, will be served with chatty brio at a perfect pace, with bread replenished frequently. Perhaps some tiny calamari on a puree of zucchini picked that day, perfect caponata, a plate of house-cured meats, ear-shaped orecchiette pasta with a lamb ragu, boned stuffed rabbit with finely chopped silverbeet and a sweet-potato gratin, and birramisu, an amusing take on tiramisu, made with chocolate beer. It is food of comforting authenticity, presented as attentively as it was prepared. Six courses may seem pricey, but it's much cheaper than a flight, less stressful than driving in Italy, and you won't be left jet-lagged.

AND ... Those of limited appetites should ask for three courses only.

VIBE Autentico italiano.
BEST BIT House-made salumi.
WORST BIT Cramped when full.