417 Sturt street
T: 5333 1789
Anzac day in Ballarat called for a visit to L’espresso for coffee and lunch outside in the beautiful weather. A cafe frequented by locals and our gracious hosts, S and N, it offers scrumptious food and a collection of music CDs from all around the world for purchase.
Confit duck with roasted figs, fresh snowpea sprouts and balsamic reduction. One of the best duck dishes I’ve had for awhile; crispy skin with moist duck leg flesh that falls off the bone matched perfectly with the sweet figs and tart sauce.
S decided to have the martelli pasta with roasted eggplant in creamy tomato sauce and grated sheeps cheese. A great combination of flavours with a sharp bite from the unique salty cheese.
N and D both ordered the traditional fettuccine bolognaise with beef wagu; al dente pasta with a slow cooked sauce.
With a cabinet filled with delectable pastries and cakes to complement any cup of Amanti coffee for next time, I left this place with anticipation of my next visit here when I am back in Ballarat.
11 Degraves street
T: 9639 1860
A real gem to be discovered on Degraves, Lacitta is a cosy yet elegant restaurant with exceptional food and an extensive range of wines.
D and I had a the fortune of coming across this place while wondering along the alleyways of Melbourne city looking for somewhere to grab dinner after work.
The menu is modern european and offered a great selection of dishes; from fish to slow roasted lamb shoulder. However the greatest surprise is to learn that Lacitta offers some of the greatest pastas in Melbourne that I have ever tasted.
Potato and carrot gnocchi with rosemarry and lamb ragu; slow cooked lamb with fluffy pillows of pasta.
Squid ink pappardelle with king prawns and cherry tomato; perfectly cooked pasta with the taste of the sea in every bite balanced with sweet prawn flesh and tomatoes. Make sure you try this place at least once.
326 Lygon street
T: 9347 8482
Part of the D.O.C family, Carlton Espresso is my favourite Italian restaurant on Lygon Street hands down. There coffee is always fantastic, the atmosphere is very relaxed and the place is buzzing with people who share meals on long communal tables. Having said that, all of the D.O.C restaurants are exceptional and expanding to new locations like Mornington it seems.
It was the perfect place to meet up with girlfriends, H and MR, after work for a casual dinner.
H and I happened to get there a little earlier than MR and while sipping on our drinks a waiter brought over a tasting platter courtesy of the house. It was a lovely gesture and we got to nibble on tasty olives, crumbly cheese and gourmet crackers.
Italian beer and lemon ice tea.
MR had the farro salad with rocket, vegetable and fresh ricotta.
The lasagne at Carlton Espresso is one of my favourites, using fresh pasta and generous layers of beef bolognese.
H had her favourite dish too, the spaghetti pomodoro with san marzano tomato and fresh bazil.