Making a significant mark on Melbourne’s food scene is no mean feat. We’re a city of food lovers, yes - but with so much choice out there, it takes a truly fantastic, flavour-filled dish to wow our tastebuds.
When Melbourne CBD Italian restaurant +39 Pizzeria brought us the Nutella doughnut last year – a chocolate-filled pastry that we happily ate by the dozen – the sweet treat was placed firmly at the top of every must-eat list in the state. Now, the Italian masters are at it again, this time with a savoury platter that’s already vying for first position on a 2016 ‘best of’ list.
+39 Pizzeria’s latest creation celebrates two of our favourite ingredients – cured meat and deliciously ripe cheese – in Lo Stendino. This brand new take on the traditional cheese and charcuterie board is a real show-stopper that has to be seen to be believed. Drawing inspiration from methods of hanging an aging meat, the selection of freshly sliced Italian cured meats comes suspended on a string above a bed of cheese, truffled honey, pickles, taralli (southern Italian-style breadsticks), and house-made red onion jam. It’s like a clothesline of deliciousness...
Better yet, if you’re a true meat fan, you can upgrade the Lo Stendino with a side of 36-month aged prosciutto di parma, sourced by the +39 Pizzeria team from the best Italian importers in the city. Let’s be honest, Listers: Who wouldn’t opt for that deluxe addition?!
Locating mouth-watering ingredients is a major part of +39 Pizzeria’s success story. The Melbourne CBD Italian restaurant has been serving some of the best pizzas, pastas and desserts to hungry folks for the past 7 years, making a name for itself as the home of the most authentic Italian cuisine in the three thousands. The Italian institution is set to open its second venue, +39 Pizzeria Toorak, which promises to deliver the same deliciously fresh fare. Whether you’re on the hunt for a glass of vino and some nibbles, or looking for a long lunch in the city that will have you feeling like you’re holidaying in Roma rather than melting in Melbourne, +39 will be delivering great quality food, warm service and a relaxed ambiance on the north and south sides of the Yarra from March 2016.
This season, Lo Stendino isn’t the only new thing on the menu. +39 Pizzeria has sourced its very own Australian-made wines, introducing a house Shiraz and Pino Grigio that have been chosen to pair perfectly with their food offering.
A summer twist has been delivered to the drinks offering too, with Italian microbrewed beers by Na Biretta and a variety of new apertivo options popping up. Whether you’re looking for a zesty spritz or a negroni sbagliato – the Milanese take on the traditional cocktail that includes red vermouth and prosecco – they make for a refreshing (and moreish!) tipple in the warmer months.
As for the food itself, the +39 Pizzeria team have taken inspiration from the Italian masters to bring some delicious new dishes to the CBD. The ravioli aperto, inspired by Gualtiero Marchesi, who is widely renowned as the father of contemporary Italian fare, combines all of our favourite seafood flavours in one perfectly balanced pasta dish. The open ravioli is layered with calamari and prawn ragu, cherry tomatoes, fresh herbs and crayfish bisque, making for a lighter option than read meat ragu. (But don’t worry, lasagne lovers - that’s still on there too!)
If your sweet tooth is crying out to be satisfied, try the Cheesecake New Era – a soft citrus cheesecake topped with meringue, lime coulis and flaked Italian sfogliatella pastry – for a light, summery dessert that really packs a flavour punch.
Another stand-out has to be the addition of panozzos to the lunch menu. Never heard of this Italian snack food? Think of it as Italy’s take on the banh mi – a quick-fire, pizza dough based sandwich that comes stuffed full of sundried tomatoes, eggplant, fresh basil leaves and stracciatella, or prosciutto, rocket, cherry tomatoes and squaquerone cheese. Helloooo lunchbreak.
While the Nutella doughnut may be no more – the team decided to axe the pastry at the end of the year – there’s certainly enough going on within +39 Pizzeria’s Italian kitchen to keep even the most ardent Melbourne food fanatic occupied. And when it comes served with a glass of prosecco and a side of genuine Italian charm, really, who could resist?
+39 Pizzeria Toorak opens in March 2016. Check out our preview here.
Image credit: Jenna Fahey White for The Urban List
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