+39 is the extension you dial to be connected to Italy. And when we want a direct link to traditional Italian dishes here in Melbourne, we visit the widely acclaimed +39 Pizzeria and Antipasteria.
Like its sibling on Little Bourke Street in the Melbourne CBD, +39 on Toorak Road, is a little slice of Italy, serving up authentic cuisine in the vibrant Hawksburn Village, Toorak.
The eatery’s interior is kept simple, allowing the brilliant menu to take centre stage amongst the wooden furniture, white brick walls and marbled benches (which definitely get Nonna’s tick of approval).
It's the perfect place for when you feel like a rustic wooden board of antipasto that's reminiscent of a European country town clothing line (thanks to the hanging cured meats), or just a thin-based pizza fresh from the blazing hot, giant pizza oven.
Whilst their pizza and cured meats can match it with the best, we’re shining the spotlight on their brand new pasta menu (complete with handmade pasta). It recently had a major revamp and they’ve got loads of pasta dishes you need to try.
With a humble offering of six pasta dishes to choose from, each is loaded, hearty and will have you wanting to order seconds… if you’ve got the room. But don’t worry, you won’t be leaving +39 empty—God forbid. So, will it be spaghetti, stuffed ravioli or fettuccine?
It’s never an easy task narrowing down your favourite saucy carbs, especially when there’s a Venetian Duck Ragu going up against a plate of ravioli filled with prosciutto, mushrooms and mascarpone cheese. Anyhow, our first recommendation is the Blue Swimmer Crab Spaghetti. It’s a delicious plate filled with house made spaghetti, garlic, chilli, cherry tomatoes, lobster bisque, parsley and made extra saucy with their Napoli sauce.
Oh, didn’t we mention? There’s lasagne on the menu too. And not just any old lasagne, it’s the speciality +39 lasagne. It’s got 39 layers of crispy egg pasta, beef Bolognese, béchamel sauce and all the parmesan you’ve been dreaming of.
To complete your visit to +39, there’s a luscious range of desserts including mini cannoli, Italy’s favourite pick-me-up, Tiramisu and a selection of digestives to help undo some of that bloating.
Spill some wine, eat some pasta, make Nonna proud.
Image credit: +39 Pizzeria by More Studio & Kristoffer Paulsen