Il Solito Posto

>A pre-Christmas dinner with work friends took us to one my new favourite restaurants in Melbourne.
Il Solito Posto is tucked away in a basement down a side alley off the Paris end of Collins Street. It could have been a businessman’s realm but managed not to be. Small groups in suits sat eating in casual surroundings on the upper level, but the real treat was further down the stairs into the basement proper.
From our corner table we could see everything. One wall was lined with shelves full of wine. The clientele was a mix of after-work diners, couples and slightly noisier groups of friends.
Alan and Jeanette our waiters were the ultimate in Melbourne hospitality: unobtrusive, but friendly and professional, they guided us through the menu, wine list and specials as if we were regulars.
The menu was not too lengthy, with something for everybody. Classic antipasti, an excellent well-chosen list of pasta and risotto dishes, and main courses ranging from rib-eye steak to snapper.
I chose the sea urchin for a starter from the specials list. Two spiky specimens arrived, each sitting on a bed of salt, the meat sitting atop a scoop or two of chopped onion, chilli and ginger in a light vinaigrette dressing. It was ultra-fresh and tasted of the sea. Divine.
For the main course I chose the fillet steak, roasted medium-rare and served on a bed of mashed potato. Every mouthful was a treat; the steak was perfectly cooked.
The wine list was superb: dozens of wines grouped by grape, ranging from under $50 to almost four figures. We chose a Chianti Classico (when in Rome…) from the lower end of the price scale, which complemented our food perfectly.
I could not resist the dessert menu (unusual for me) and chose a tiramisu. The girls helped me out with their coffee spoons. Like a good Italian restaurant, they had it just right. Not too boozy, not too runny, not too big.
Il Solito Posto translates as “the usual place” and I can guarantee that this little place will become one of my regular haunts in the city. Whether for a quick after-work bite in the bar or a perfect Italian dinner downstairs, it won’t let you down.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s