Tucked in an small street just off Smith Street, don't let the neon sign scare you off. What you find behind the door is one of the most authentic Italian wine bars in Melbourne which transports you to Italy in a flash.
I was looking for a cute date night spot for a bit of conversation and a lot of romance and boy did I come across the perfect spot. Relatively empty when I arrived, we were seated immediately and attentively served the entire time with in-depth descriptions of each dish and staff that are up for a banter if you are! I loved it and the suave and intimate feel it gave off.
I chose the Rigatoni al Ragu (Duck ragu, pecorino cheese) which was very light and well balanced in its flavours. It wasn't your typical ragu though, there wasn't a red sauce but a white sauce that was used more as a flavour enhancer to the shredded duck and cheese - making the dish cohesive as a whole. Because of this it keeps you coming back for more and with a pretty good serving you have more than enough to get you full. The sauce and duck were the highlight of the dish but the pasta was also perfectly cooked and the perfect vehicle to get that sauce in your belly.
I also had the pleasure of trying my partner's dish, Spaghettoni alle Scampi. This is another dish I would highly recommend if it's available as I'm not normally a fan of seafood pasta but this one blew my mind. Despite the seafood base, it doesn't become too 'fishy' but more so uses it to lightly flavour the pasta which also remains the hero of the dish. The serving was also very generous and was served with the full scampi which I enjoyed in terms of plating.
I couldn't skip dessert with a Tiramisu on the menu so of course I had to try it! And boy am I glad I did. IT WAS AMAZING! The flavours were on point with a balance of sweet and bitterness of coffee. It was by far the prettiest dish of the night - it's hard to plate pasta nicely. It was again another generous serving but I still wanted more! Placing the amaretto biscuit and pistachio on the side was also a good move as it allowed me to customise each spoonful.
This spot is a hidden secret of Fitzroy that all should try whether you want to relive a bit of Italy or see what it's like to dine at an authentic Italian restaurant. Come here for a date night, an intimate girls night or even just if you're just craving a bit of pasta for dinner!
Presentation (5): 4
Taste (5): 5
Service (5): 5
Atmosphere (5): 5