We caught a cab to St Kilda to meet with some friends at Café Di Stasio, as it is one of their favourite places to eat. It is definitely wise to get a reservation here, as you certainly don't want to make the trip and have to turn around if there is no availability..... We were there on a Friday night and it was full and they were turning away people who arrived without reservations...
There was a sign on the door as we entered saying that photography isn't allowed..... I chose to assume that it referred to people taking photographs from the door paparazzi style. Obviously I took photographs of my food, I'd paid for it, I can do what I want with it.... surely ?!
Well, no one stopped me.... so here are some photos of our food....
The quality of everything was excellent. My spaghetti vongole (one of my favourite pasta dishes) was full of flavour, the pasta was home made and cooked perfectly. Everyone else was equally impressed with their dishes.
Service was good and the restaurant had a nice atmosphere, although a little dark... maybe this helps with the no photographs policy??
We had a slight hiccup with my starter as the oysters were served raw when I had requested them to be baked. The baked oyster was their special....... so despite my love or raw oysters I did have to send these back to the kitchen. The waiter wasn't too pleased as he insisted I asked for them raw and didn't look too impressed when the whole table disagreed with him..... anyway, they were replaced and worth the extra wait.
We stayed quite late, I think we were the lat table out, but we still didn't feel rushed. Perhaps due to the huge amount of money we had spend on the food, wine and champagne.....
It was a lovely evening and I would definitely recommend a trip out to St Kilda If you are staying in Melbourne long enough to leave the city centre restaurants. Café Di Stasio has a much more local, friendly feel about it than some of the city places......
Café Di Stasio 31 Fitzroy Street St Kilda Melbourne +61 (3) 9525 3999 website
'The Best Pizza in the world'..... well I have no idea how accurate that statement is but Johnny Di Francesco at 400 Gradi won the title in a global competition.
It was surprisingly easy to get a table at 400 Gradi. We were quite surprised. I thought it would be full with a waiting list down the street.... I guess the locals are used to them being here and we weren't in the middle of the tourist season...
We were seated promptly and the menu was explained. Surprise surprise, we all ordered pizza. The two guys I was with ordered starters, but I knew a pizza would be more than enough for me, and I wanted to have a dessert.
To be fair their pizzas are AMAZING but without having them side by side with all the other amazing pizzas though it is quite hard to decide if this is truly The Best Pizza in the World.... The base was very crispy - just like the Italian ones. If you are a fab of the doughy American style pizza's then these are quite different. The tomato sauce was tasty as was the prosciutto.
400 Gradi is definately worth a visit if you are visiting Melbourne, even if you live in Melbourne they are worth a visit across town. If you live in Melbourne and you haven't tried a pizza at the restaurant that holds the title for the Best Pizza in the World - what are you waiting for ??
400 Gradi 99 Lygon Street, East Brunswick, Melbourne. Tel +61 9380 2320 website
The first time we visited was a Monday evening at the suggestion of our hotel concierge. We were delighted to find all bottles of wine to be half price on Monday evening, and I guess this accounted for the level of busy they were experiencing!
All the staff were pleasant and helpful, especially Nick who helped us select wine and answered my random food questions.
We had calamari to start which was delicious, not chewy and lightly battered. It was a huge portion though, so we were glad we shared. We both had pizza one Parma and one Bosco. They took quite a while to arrive, but as we were enjoying a nice La Vigne Cabernet and people watching this wasn't a big problem for us.
The kitchen is semi open and the pizza oven has a bar alongside with seats so you can watch the activities... which is great if you are dining alone.
We were glad we found Casa Nonna on first night of a six week stay in NYC as it meant we were able to go back and try some of the other dishes - which we did. Their Chicken Parmigiana was excellent as were their pasts dishes.
The service over our three visits was a bit hit and miss, but I would still go back.
Casa Nonna isn't breaking any records in the culinary world, but its a solid reliable Italian and if you are in town and looking for an early week meal then their Monday night with half price wine really can't be missed.
Casa Nonna 310 W 38th St , New York City
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