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L'avis de Gault&Millau
Andreas Papadakis worked at fine dining Vue de monde and headed up Tipo 00 before taking the reins at Osteria Ilaria.
Unlike Tipo 00 next door, this eatery isn’t just a pasta bar, but rather it’s a sophisticated bustling dining room with outstanding modern and inventive Italian food. The rustic interior features whitewashed brick walls, a bar at the front and an open kitchen with chefs in action.
The menu is designed for sharing. Start with a crisp fried zucchini flower filled with an eggplant emulsion and a rocket pesto. Grilled calamari sits on a creamy fava bean puree with perfectly charred tentacles and smoky paprika. Sublimely fresh kingfish crudo has an oyster emulsion and is doused with a native Australian finger lime. Their paccheri pasta is a signature dish. Curls of house-made pasta have a tomato sauce with green sorrel topped with Crystal Bay prawns, or try the butterflied whole whiting served with mountains of pipis and salty sea herbs.
PSST! Check out the back area where they have a private dining room, perfect for a group booking.
Reviewed for the 2019 Guide
367 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne