Rocco’s Bologna Discoteca

15 Gertrude St
Fitzroy, VIC 3065

Rocco’s Bologna Discoteca feels like the kind of place chefs go for their supper. Something about the irreverently Melbourne twist on casual Italian trattoria dining just screams good eating, and the dimly lit, red brick interior paired with a glass of red rounds out a guaranteed relaxing night. And although they do have some salads and sides, my advice would be to tuck right into their hearty pastas and sandwiches. In my opinion, that is where the true joy lies (both here, and for life in general).

Rating: 14.5/20 – PANIC! at the bologna disco.
Must-order: i chime in with a haven’t you people ever heard of, ordering the meatball sub.

Octopus Skewers with Olive Tapanade ($14)

The Octopus Skewers with Olive Tapanade ($14) were one of the handfuls of specials on. Charred ever so lightly, the centre was still sweet and sticky with a clean flavour. The garnishes of olive and beetroot were rather clever; the earthy notes were harmonious, yet contradictory with the briny and sweet flavours respectively.

Crescentina ($9ea)

The Crescentina ($9ea) was a neat little bite of buttery pastry, topped with salty anchovy and bright lemon zest.

Wagyu Battuto ($9)

I had expected the Wagyu Battuto ($9) to be a warm dish, but this turned out to be more of a tartare type of thing. It was fine, but I wasn’t really after raw beef that night, and this felt like it erred on the bland side regardless.

Rocco’s Original Meatball Sub ($24)

Rocco’s Original Meatball Sub ($24)

The Rocco’s Original Meatball Sub ($24) is what you come here for, because it is the most perfect meatball sub in every way. Enormous pork and veal meatballs the size of golf balls, slow-cooked in a rich tomato sugo, and slathered with white sauce and grated Reggiano. All that goodness is stuffed into a lightly toasted white roll and voila – easily the most delicious meatball sub I’ve ever had.

Spaghetti Ojo Ojo Pepereoncino ($28)

The Spaghetti Ojo Ojo Pepereoncino ($28) is Italy’s answer to spicy noodles. Drowned in a ridiculous amount of roasted garlic, fermented chilli, and quality olive oil, this could almost be a Chinese dish. But then again, bold, saucy noodles are pretty much trans-cultural, aren’t they?

Babba, Zuppa Inglese ($14)

For dessert, there’s either the soft serve of the day, or a slice of the Babba, Zuppa Inglese ($14). Dyed irresistibly pink, soaked in boozy amaro, and topped with cream and chocolate chips, this is a titillating alter ego to birthday party sponge.

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