advertisement

Under the management of the Grossi family, this is probably the best Italian restaurant in Melbourne. It has a casual bistro downstairs, next to the Cellar Bar (where a bowl of pasta on the bar menu is less than A$20); upstairs is the fine-dining restaurant, with its chandeliers and murals reflecting the Florentine way of life. The food is not your traditional Italian, with such innovative dishes as roasted partridge with quince puree, glazed chestnuts, truffle reduction, parsnip, and partridge leg buckwheat risotto; about as old-world Italian as the dishes get is risotto Venere, risotto with Moreton Bay bugs (a local lobster) and a Parmesan Sabayon sauce. On the menu, too, are seafood and steak dishes. Save room for dessert: perhaps the chocolate soufflé with malt ice cream and chocolate syrup, or the cheese plate to share? On weekdays, a two-course lunch special for A$65 is available.