Fatto Bar & Cantina
Everyone's favourite spot for a pre-theatre nosh. Fatto's got one of the most infamous dinner rushes in the whole city. Its dinner tides ebb and flow, depending on what's showing at the Arts Centre and Hamer Hall, but the food is always top notch.
If you only try one dish, make it the spanner crab spaghettini with lemon, chilli and parsley. You'll see plates of this stuff flying off the pass, and with good reason. It's up there with the best signature dishes in the city.
Fatto sits perched above the Yarra, in the old spot that was once Hamer Hall's Trocadero. It's got a much cosier, more relaxed focus though. Fatto delivers simple Italian cuisine, hold the pretension. Pasta, risotto, fried zucchini flowers and hearty Sicilian lamb chops with twinkling Yarra views. That's what this place is about.
In more good news, the guys at Fatto just announced they've opened an in-store deli. What does this mean? It means catered Botanic Gardens picnic packs, stuffed with antipasti, sandwiches, Pollastrini sardines, plus a big selection of cheese and salumi, perfect for grazing in the summer sun. CBD workers will be happy too: there's going to be a rotating panini on offer as a lunch special. Think porchetta with apple, fennel, coleslaw, fontina and salsa verde, or a tuna melt with Ortiz tuna, mayonnaise, spring onion and provolone on seven-grains bread.
Keep an eye out for the daily pastries, baked fresh in the Fatto kitchen. Our fav is the tiramisu, but you can't go wrong with a sugar-dusted bombolone.
Image credit: Simon Shiff