Food and Drink


Casa Ciuccio’s no Donkey

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The guys behind Bar Lourinhã have a new cheeky donkey. Or rather, Matt, Jo and Simon have a new pan-Mediterranean restaurant on Gertrude St named Casa Ciuccio, which translates as ‘cheeky Neapolitan donkey’.

Much like Bar Lourinhã, attention to detail is evident in the decor and presentation, with an obvious affection for assorted objects placed carefully around the restaurant.

I was particularly taken by the custom-made wine glasses, with Casa Ciuccio’s signature donkey peeping (cheekily of course) over the standard drink plimsoll line.

Divided into four main areas, there is an intimate front room and a back room where the open kitchen takes centre stage. The candlelit courtyard provides a lush feel to the space, which you can look out to from either room. A dining room, adjoining Bar Chooch and deck are located on the first floor.

The comprehensive drinks menu includes both Australian and international wines as well as apéritifs and digestifs, including Lourinhã Limoncello.

All dishes are designed to share, from the tapas-style para picar to the larger dishes from the grill and coal pit.

Dishes range from the classic boquerones ($9), mussels and chorizo ($8) and zucchini fresco queso with lemon ($15), to the more exotic crab filled shisito peppers ($4/pc) and the evening’s special – pork hock croquetas ($4/pc)

Our group could not resist the coal pit Pit Roast of the night either (market price), where all meats are cooked for a minimum of 6 hours and served with hot sauce and potatoes. In our case, it was Greek-style lamb served with lemon.

Finishing off with a dulce de leche cream pot served with peanut praline ($12), the dulce de leche was creamy and smooth, perfectly set off by the crunchy praline.

With two seatings at this cheeky donkey and the ability to book, go with friends who like to share – especially the meat from the coal pit.

15 Gertrude St, Fitzroy
8488 8150
Tue – Thu: 12pm-11pm
Fri – Sat: 12pm-1am

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