AU ABROAD

Eating with the AU: Itali.co - St Kilda (Melbourne)

At first Itali.co may seem out of place, nestled amongst the stereotypical St Kilda burger joints and pubs. From outside, the decor looks refined and spacious juxtaposed to the hustle and bustle of busy Carlisle St. Upon entry your eyes wander to the glass cabinet stocked with prime cuts of succulent meats. Beside it, a pizza oven roars to life with crackling flames, whilst giant jars of Nutella stand ready at the desert station. On the other side of the room is an impressively stocked wine cabinet, lined with racks upon racks of vintage drops to appeal to every pallet. The menu is simple and easy to navigate, however deciding what to choose proves quite difficult!

We can’t go past the house cocktail Itali.co ($16), consisting of Limoncello, Campari, lime, lemon, orange, sugarcane, soda water, rosemary & blood orange juice. Perfect for those that love a good sour kick. The Candy ($16) is perfect for those with a sweet tooth, consisting of Chambord, gin, fresh line, lemon and sugar cane, this could prove deadly as this delightful cocktail is so delicious, you definitely won’t be able to stop at just one!

For entree we are advised to try the Gnudi Polenta ($17), made up of naked ravioli with tuscan cabbage served on a bed of gorgonzola sauce and polenta chips. The concept of the naked ravioli is what enticed me. As the waitress explains, the inside of the ravioli is the centrepiece of the dish. Instead of being encased in sheets of pasta, the ravioli is made into larger portions and set individually on the plate. I cannot continue without mentioning the Gorgonzola sauce which complimented the ravioli perfectly, my only complaint would be that there wasn’t enough!

For mains we ordered the ravioli alla barbabietola ($23.50) - homemade ravioli filled with beetroot, burnt butter, parmesan and poppy seeds, and the tartufata pizza ($23.50) - white truffle cream, fior di latte, mushroom rocket & parmesan. The ravioli was perfect for those who like beetroot, as the flavour was quite strong. The combination of the burnt butter and consistency of the pasta made for quite a heavy meal, however this was combated by the smaller serving. I would suggest ordering a few mains and sharing to break up the heaviness of one particular dish. The pizza was my favourite meal of the night. Made in the traditional Italian way, presented uncut with a razor thin base. The combined flavours of the cheeses made for a delectable taste sensation. We had a Caprese salad ($17.50) on the side made with imported buffalo mozzarella, toma tomato, fresh basil and rocket. I would suggesting drizzling the provided vinegar over top, as it compliments the dish perfectly.

For desert we ordered the Tortino di cioccolato con cuore fondente ($14 - mini chocolate volcano cake with warm chocolate cream centre served with strawberries and homemade tahiti vanilla gelato. The stand out in this dish for me was definitely the tahiti vanilla gelato. It was utterly smooth and creamy yet light at the same time. The outside of the volcano cake was crisp and crunchy juxtaposed to the oozing warm chocolate cream centre. The strawberries were the perfect sprinkle of freshness.

If you are in St Kilda and feel like trying something a little different, head on down to Itali.co. You will be met by friendly staff and a comfortable decor. Their menu is modern and covers a wide range of tastes. Perfect for a romantic dinner or a night out with the family.

Itali.co:

Address: 1/173-177 Barkly Street, St Kilda
Contact: (03) 9537 5300
Website: www.italico.com.au