For more than two decades, Caterina Borsato has run her Melbourne restaurant as a place perfectly suited to deal-making. She is supported by the very capable Marcello Mariani, a chef with a clear passion for hunting out the best produce for his loyal clientele. This wood-panelled basement restaurant is dimly lit and moody. In a city known for its Italian restaurants, this is certainly one of its most authentic.
The menu plays host to a number of classics, with a particular nod to Venetian cuisine. House-made tagliolini is tossed with Moreton Bay bugmeat and chilli. The creamy and complex pasta dish is offset by a simple rocket and parmesan salad. Gnocchi is as soft as a cloud, and lounges in a delicate mushroom and beef ragu. The sauce has the right amount of salt, and soaks perfectly into the pasta.
PSST! Although it is usually only open for lunch, the restaurant can be hired by private groups in the evening.