On a cold, blustery Hump-Day, Mr TUL and I were planning a date night. He'd just had a win on the job-hunt front, while I was suffering from the stresses of house hunting. So we needed somewhere that was simultaneously celebratory and soothing (did someone say carbs?). And I knew just the place.
Mazzitelli on Bridge Road is a sexy-looking Italian joint from the team behind brunch-time favourites, Friends of Mine and Porgie + Mr Jones. With an impressive smallgoods-strung bar/ barista/ baked goods area dominating the front room, we were ushered into the casually romantic, raised dining area out back.
Here, a black and white portrait of Old Blue Eyes dominates one wall, and cosy tables are paired with banquette seating. Aperitifs and specials are penned on the white tiled wall, along with some handy Italian phrases, should you want some learnin' with your limoncello.
But enough about the surrounds, let's get down to business.
After a palate-pleasing bellini and some of the best crusty bread and olive oil you'll find, we devoured a light and tasty salad of semolina-crusted calamari, and a generous plate of Prosciutto San Daniele and melon. So simple; so eye-poppingly, tastebud-awakeningly delicious. Excuse me while I take a moment.
Not to be outdone by some fruit, the main was good enough to make me forget my woes. 8-hour-braised beef cheeks—tick. Requisite comforting hand-made carbs (gnocchi)—tick. Red wine jus—tick. The perfect amount of added crunch ('pangrattato', or breadcrumbs, to you and I)—tickety, tick, tick.
For dessert? Affogato for Sir, tiramisu for Madam.
Needless to say, we left sated, soothed, and happy (did I mention the wine?)
In the generally blah surrounds of Bridge Road, Mazzitelli is a standout—authentic and atmospheric. For brekkie, the eggs benny are the bomb, and I'll definitely be heading back to the front bar one early eve for the antipasto.
Where: Mazzitelli | 144 Bridge Road in Richmond
Contact: 03 9427 1887
Image Credit: Facebook