Antipasto - Solarino AUD18.90
Looking for a new place place for a good, simple, cheap, pasta in the city has been tough. Just as well Julia happened upon a review of Solarino, and off we went!
The antipasto definitely set a high benchmark for what was to come. There was a creamy goats cheese pannacotta that literally melted in our mouths, with a nice velvet mouthfeel and a bit of a tang from the lemon zest. Also fabulous was the little rolls of pancetta with a soft Persian fetta cheese, I think. A light tangy cheese to contrast the salti pancetta. Julia like the arancini deep fried balls of rice were crunchy and light all at the same time. I also liked the sardines with the agro-dolce sweet and sour onions. Heck, I loved everuything on the wooden board, including the wooden board! :)
The radicchio salad was a nice mix of bitter crisp leaves, sweet vincotto, salty peppery Pecorino, finished with a warm nuttiness of hazelnuts. The pear was nice, but I wouldn't miss it.
Then our pastas arrived. The incredible soft pillows of gnocchi were baked with mozzarella and basil, just like a pizza in Napoli! The rich tomato sauce was a hit with everyone and we mopped it up with bread or just scooped the pan clean!
The casareccia also had a similar rich tomato sauce, but this time, there was a hint of fennel from the Sicilian pork sausages and a meatier strings of pork sarsa. The twirls or casareccia with the S-shaped cross-section held the sauce nicely.
Just for good measure, we also got a risotto to compare with our favourite minimalist risotto at Tutto Bene. Solarino's had a nice balance richness from the Tallegio cheese and saltiness from the pancetta but it was perhaps a little on the sweet side, and a little busy with the number of ingredients.
Would we be back? Heck yeah! There were also little pots of tiramisu sitting in the display out the front, along with other yummy looking pastries, that I'd be back for, not to mention the simple delicious pastas!
(03) 9663 2636
Shop 7 / 273 Little Collins St
Melbourne VIC 3000
enter from Howey Place, Melbourne.
- Gnocchi Napoli oven-baked with Mozzarella - AUD18.90
- Risotto of pancetta, leek, Taleggio cheese and pear - AUD19.90