What we ate:
Melanzane Parmigiana (baked eggplant with Buffalo mozzarella, tomato sugo, parmesan and basil)
Hervey Bay scallops with cauliflower puree
Capricciosa Pizza (tomato, mozzarella, ham, mushrooms, artichokes and Manzanilla olives)
What we drank:
Frogmore Creek Riesling 2009 (Tas), $45
Luckily for Melburnians, simple, good quality Italian food isn’t too difficult to find in this great city – but is still a treat to experience. TFG recently enjoyed a very good Friday night dinner at Pizza e Birra in St Kilda, which some have mused lays claim to some of the best pizza south of the river.
Despite our early dinner booking, it didn’t take long for the restaurant to become quite crowded and bustling. While this provided a fun atmosphere, our table was close enough to our neighbours to experience the odd elbow bump – we wouldn’t have wanted to be squeezed any closer.All space issues were forgotten, however, when the food arrived. The baked eggplant was a dish of textural delights: silky eggplant layered with tender mozzarella and rich sugo, finished off with sharp parmesan and fresh (and deliciously aromatic) basil. Divine.
Following this was a special ordered off the comprehensive blackboard: Hervey Bay scallops with cauliflower puree on the half shell. These were fat, tender and fresh – and not surprisingly, quickly demolished:
Lastly, the pizza. Having experienced all sorts of dilemmas deciding which one to have, TFG was very pleased to have ordered the Capricciosa in the end – a great combination of crispy ham, mushrooms, artichokes and olives. Not innovative or novel flavours by any means, but an example of simple Italian at its best. The pizza itself was also perfectly cooked – chewy and crispy in all the right places:
Being a Friday night, TFG was certainly up to celebrate the end of a long working week with some nice wine, and having ordered the Riesling our table was promptly delivered two glasses. It was with a small amount of wine shame that TFG had to point out that actually a whole bottle was desired. Despite some red faces (on all sides), the bottle was quickly brought, and TFG was able to enjoy a Friday night in good form: with great food and (ample) wine.
How TFG scores:
Food – out of ten
Value – out of five
Service – out of five
Pizza e Birra
Food – 8
Value – 3
Service – 2.5
60 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda