15th August 2016
350 William St
Melbourne, VIC 3000
… aaaaaand we’re back to your regularly scheduled blogging! As much as I enjoyed (and needed) that time away, I have to say I missed the huge variety of food that blogging affords me. And it wasn’t until this trip that I realised just how important it is to me to be able to have some good, simple Western food when I feel like it. So when I came back, I sated that craving at Beer Wine and Calzone, a restaurant that I’ve long been meaning to visit.
At Beer Wine and Calzone, the name is the game, though of course they also have their fair share of appetisers, pizzas, and pastas as well. The set-up is a bit funny; although the menu says sit-down restaurant, it’s actually set up like a cafe with a take-away section. You order at the counter, but the food is brought to you. But hey, carbs are carbs, right?
It’s hard to pass up the calzones, even if it wasn’t part of the name of the restaurant. Made to order with a slew of inventive and tantalising fillings, I ended up settling for the Friulano ($16) – a pastry pocket filled with salted aged beef, artichoke hearts, rocket, and parmesan.
I wasn’t sure about the salted aged beef; it looked more like beef mince to me. Still, I couldn’t deny that the beef was unusually rich in flavour, and complemented well by the acidic artichokes and peppery rocket. The pastry was of course flawless, the fluffy edges rising up to a crisp, airy dome with a bit of tomato paste brushed on top.
I had wanted another calzone, but unfortunately for me, the pizzas going by looked too good to resist, so I ordered the Arrabbiata ($21) instead. This pizza provided a harmonious combination of salty salami, earthy mushrooms, and sweet Spanish onion on a crisp yet chewy crust, but I have to admit that the ingredient list (tomato mozzarella spicy salami mushroom onions chilli basil) sounded punchier than it tasted.
I’ll admit, I was sucked into Beer Wine and Calzone by their promisingly straight-forward name, and as a result had probably expected more out of it than it was offering. It is by no means the best place for pizza or Italian in the city (though the novelty of calzone is good), but frankly, sometimes it’s enough just to have an enjoyable meal.
Rating: 13.5/20 – pizza pasta and calzone.
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit.