Tutto Bene is the perfect example of Southgate’s phoenix-like emergence as a serious Melbourne foodie destination. This isn’t just a place for Langham guests, pre-show theatre goers and the occasional tourist. Not anymore. Thanks to a reno’ and refresh in 2016, it’s now a schmick trattoria-style Italian eatery, with a menu built around organic, bio-dynamic produce (not to mention some of the best views in town).
Start with the stuzzichini menu—the light bites. There’s a delicious Crostini con Melanzana (confit eggplant with whipped Buffalo crumble, pomegranates and black truffle), but we’d also recommend the Polpette beef meatballs with grated parmesan and San Marzano tomato.
For mains, it’s hard to go past the risotto, if only because this place is one of the few we’ve seen with an entire risotto menu (!!). This isn’t like a Masterchef challenge—the chefs here know how to cook a proper risotto, made from nothing but the best I.G.P Vialone Nano rice. The Tartufo is an absolute palate-smacker (buttery risotto rice topped with a simple mix of black truffle shavings, 24-month Parmigiano Reggiano) but we reckon you have to go the Pollo, a chilli-dusted chicken ragu with smoked caciocavallo cheese. Insanely good.
Here’s how you do Tutto Bene right: get there early and stake a claim to a balcony table, with views of Flinders St and the CBD skyline. Pop the cork on the house Cabernet Merlot (a cheeky bottle from Heathcote in northern Victoria). Order up an Italian feast, then polish the whole thing off with a few scoops from the Gelateria. Date night here we come...
Find out about Tutto Bene and more epic Southgate venues here.
Image credit: Griffin Simm