Food and Drink
Posted by Dan Kuseta
03. Apr, 2014
There’s something special and secret about subterranean dining. Sure rooftops are fine and well, but there’s nothing quite like eating below street level that lends itself to long lunches, leg watching and naturally wine.
Sitting just below the earth’s crust on Flinders Lane, Cecconi’s has been doing considered Italian produce longer than most. Having enjoyed a recent facelift over the new year, the venerable restaurant now boasts a modern interior without sacrificing the dark tones, cozy nooks and wood panelling that’s brought diners here for decades.
Beyond the location there’s plenty to like on the menu. Local producers give a fresh take on the classic menu: starters include the excellent roasted quail with sweet rocket, black fig, pecorina romano and vincotto ($27), while mains include home-made gnocchi, lasagne and pappardelle. Keeping the hearty motif going are offerings including roast pork, swordfish and duck confit.
A robust Australian-Italian wine list keeps things interesting, while Cecconi’s slick staff are happy to suggest appropriate pairings.
If you’ve still got room (we didn’t) there’s an equally rich dessert menu: our pick was the apricot parfair with pistachio polenta torta, orange segments and pistachio custard ($17).
Cecconi’s isn’t cheap, but for a special long lunch where you want to pretend you’re not in town for awhile, it’s worth swooping down to.
61 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Lunch Mon – Fri from 12pm
Dinner Mon – Sat from 5.30pm
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