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Caterina's Cucina e Bar
L'avis de Gault&Millau
Caterina’s has been operating on a lunchtime-only basis for over 20 years, with Chef Marcello Mariani creating a sophisticated menu that takes a modern approach to Venetian cuisine.
Enter through the wrought-iron gates and descend into a classic Italian dining room complete with wooden beams and decor that ranges from Venetian masks to ornate and antique dressers and mirrors. Caterina’s offers an authentic Italian experience that is a world away from the busy CBD on the doorstep.
It’s important to ask about the specials, as the restaurant features a wide range of dishes that complement the standard menu. The calamari is a standout dish: fresh, light calamari is generously seasoned and the crunchy, crisp batter is flecked though with herbs, and served on a balsamic-dressed salad. Pasta and risotto dishes change, dependent on the available produce, so the risotto del giorno may be a version served with a tomato ragu of shredded lamb and veal and topped with charred onion skins, adding a smoky flavour to the dish.
PSST! The menu has a dedicated vegetarian section.
Reviewed for the 2019 Guide
221 Queen Street (Basement), Melbourne