Baby Octopus ($19)

OSTERIA ILARIA

Rarely has a restaurant impressed me on the first visit the way Tipo00 did. Their meticulously hand-crafted pasta dishes were melt-in-the-mouth scrumptious, and each subsequent visit has been similarly astounding, and well worth the ridiculous wait times. So when the geniuses behind Tipo opened Osteria Ilaria a couple years later, all of Melbourne were waiting with bated breath to see if it lived up to [...]
Pipis, Serrano, Basil ($17)

EMBLA

There’s nothing that perks me up quite like a good meal at a wine/tapas bar. The cosy venue, sophisticated and indulgent atmosphere, and parade of small but exquisitely designed dishes (and maybe a drink or two!) never fails to put me in a good mood. And for the longest time, my go-to spot has been MoVida Next Door. Of course, I knew about Embla – [...]
Spaghetti and Meatballs with Parmesan ($22)

CITY WINE SHOP

Everyone knows The European, the quintessential, well, European restaurant and wine bar. Slightly well known is City Wine Shop right next door, set back into an alcove with nothing but a small sign proclaiming ‘bottle shop’ to give it away. But City Wine Shop is no slouch. With its food coming directly from the kitchen of The European, this little wine bar boasts a selection [...]
Grilled Calamari ($16)

MARION

It is a widely known fact that everything Andrew McConnell touches turns to gold, but as much as I adore the man, I have had a few lacklustre experiences in his slew of amazing restaurants. Still, that ratio doesn’t stop me from being excited when I heard about the opening of Marion, a companion wine bar to his Modern Australian magnate, Cutler and Co. Located [...]
Farmer’s Zakuski ($27.5)

BORSCH, VODKA, AND TEARS

I don’t like Prahran. You think it’s hard to find parking in Fitzroy? Wait until you try this end of town. So it’s double the shame that there’s so much good eating around there. Food always, always wins out however, which I how I found myself spending 20 minutes trawling the streets for parking, just so I could eat at Borsch, Vodka, and Tears. ‘It’s [...]
Oyster ($3.5)

NEAPOLI WINE BAR

I am a big puddle of sad, weepy tears. Chris finally talked me into seeing Inside Out last weekend – I love Pixar but hate going to the movies – and now everything is ruined. I wouldn’t recommend Inside Out to anyone unless they have a fondness for having their hearts ripped out of their chests with a gnarled claw. It is an outstanding movie [...]