It’s common knowledge that I am Team Pasta as opposed to Team Pizza, but Italian restaurant Primo in Northcote had received such rave reviews that I was willing to loosen my stance for a night.
As is family tradition, we ventured to Lupo to celebrate Whatever Floats Your Bloat Bro’s birthday because nothing symbolises a special occasion in my family more than a big bowl of pasta (or a risotto if you’re the rice-loving Papa Whatever Floats Your Bloat).
A new pasta bar has come to occupy 214 St Georges Road and without any identifying storefront name save for the ‘good times’ sign emblazoned on the yellow façade of the building, the pasta bar is aptly known as Good Times.
Manned by Matt Piccone of Pellegrini’s fame, after his 19 years as a barista there, and his partner Julia Piccone, Pentolina has some serious Pugliese chops underpinning it.
Postmistress is great at catering to various dietary requirements – two of the pasta dishes were naturally gluten-free and pizzas came with the option of gluten-free bases.
Umberto is the ideal place to celebrate a milestone if you’re not into stiff restaurants and contrived food – the dishes are honest and down-to-earth, the restaurant is charming and comfortable, and the waitstaff are pleasant to a fault.
If you’re not willing to balance precariously on a high stool at the bar or firm up your Thursday night plans six weeks in advance, Tipo 00 is off limits, which is why it made foodie news when the team behind the famed pasta bar opened sister restaurant Osteria Ilaria a few doors away.
Banish all thoughts of McCain’s cheese and bacon pizza pockets (as satisfying as they can be) because Melbourne chef Guy Grossi has opened up a casual eatery called Pezzo, which specialises in pizza pockets that house ingredients decidedly more gourmet than homebrand cheese and bacon – think calamari, polpette (meatballs) and cotoletta (veal breaded cutlet).
Only upon my usual pre-meal menu stalking activities did I realise that there were entirely separate menus for fructose-intolerant people and vegans respectively at Maccaroni Osteria Italiana i.e. what is this heaven and why had I never heard of it?
Bontempo Pizzeria may appear to be just another sleek Italian restaurant frequented by a well-heeled crowd, but a closer perusal of its menu reveals astoundingly good-value pizza, pasta and alcoholic beverages.