Eating well when it comes to Italian in Melbourne is as easy as arrabbiata, bucatini, casareccia. If it’s a straight-up bowl of pasta or an excellent pizza you seek there will always be the Waiters’ Restaurant, Pellegrini’s, and D.O.C. But for a special occasion, it’s hard to go past one of Melbourne’s Italian stallions. Here’s The Age Good Food Guide team’s list of 10 of the top-scoring Italians from the upcoming edition, some classical, and others that go beyond the boot with dishes that are sometimes more Italianese than straight Italian.
Basement stalwart Cecconi’s has carved out a niche by never making a promise it can’t keep. A welcoming smile, linen tablecloths and good stemware set a grown-up tone that’s maintained throughout. And the food? Expect reliably good, modern Italian dishes such as caramelised scallops with a rich cauliflower cream.
61 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, 03 8663 0500, cecconis.com
Text reproduced from Melbourne’s best Italian fine dining restaurants 2016