191 Nicholson St Carlton, VIC 3053
|Opening hours||Tue-Fri 12 Noon – 10:00 PM, Sat 6:00 – 10:00 PM|
|Features||Accepts bookings, Breakfast-brunch, BYO, Degustation, Events, Gluten-free options, Groups, Licensed, Long lunch, Private dining, Romance-first date, Vegetarian friendly|
|Prices||Moderate (mains $20-$40)|
|Payments||Diner's Club, eftpos, AMEX, Cash, Visa, Mastercard|
|Phone||03 9347 8252|
Pride in the food of Italy's various regions shines forth at this little gem, discreetly set on a stretch of Nicholson Street that doesn't see a lot of foot traffic. There's a happily subdued atmosphere in the pleasant dining room with its whitewashed walls, stiff napery, dark wood and framed Barbaresco posters. Dinner might begin with well-rested quail, pancetta-wrapped, grilled and licked with sticky vincotto, then proceed through delicate John Dory-stuffed squid-ink ravioli in crayfish bisque (seafood is a feature in the primi piatti) or a gelatinous wet roast of kid in white wine with aromatic vegetables. Risotto, offered in two sizes, comes with proudly house-made tomato passata and smoked ricotta. Perhaps conclude with a cannolo, a thin pastry cylinder filled with coffee gelato, sweetened ricotta and hazelnut zabaglione. The wine-matching expertise and unforced hospitality of co-owner Anthony Scutella should ensure you step back out to the street with a sense of genuine warmth.