18 Aug Lt Osteria, Melbourne CBD
Lt Osteria is a new name on the streets but it’s not technically new, more of a metamorphosis. Started originally as Cafe Salida three years ago, the cafe has been completely rebranded with a tighter focus on good Italian food in a warm and friendly environment. Zwei Interiors Architecture has nailed the redesign. The blonde timbers, timber frames, overhanging plants and splashes of eggshell blue impart the cosy and welcoming atmosphere they were after.
Coffee beans are from Reverence, and apart from the usual alternative milks, hot drinks can be customised with Monin syrups. If you’re after a lazy lunch, local wines, champagne and beers are on the list too.
Breakfast classics are still on the new menu, but we try a tasty mini bun, this one with bacon, egg and spinach on Noisette brioche. As a side we have the patate fritte. A small portion of chips this is not. The large bowl is filled with fat, fluffy and crunchy chips with a delicious aioli to dip into.
The kitchen makes as much as possible in-house, from the pasta to the sweets in the cabinet; an impressive feat, considering the tiny kitchen and a team made up only of a head chef and kitchen hand. One of the specials for today is pappardelle with beef ragu, the wholesome, tomatoey beef caught nicely by the wide, slippery pappardelle.
The Spaghetti di Gamberi is also delicious. Coming with king prawns and heirloom cherry tomatoes, it’s seasoned with chilli, garlic and fresh herbs. The sweet tomatoes add some extra freshness, and the mild taste of chilli keeps the dish bright.
We finish with a tangy lemon and coconut slice with lemon frosting, and a gluten-free, fudge-like salted caramel brownie, which is rich and definitely decadent, but not too sweet. They make for a great end to a meal, or a naughty treat to grab and go with your takeaway coffee.
Although the official address of the complex is on Bourke Street, Lt Osteria’s entrance is acutally on Lt Bourke. Don’t get lost like we did. Find it, and you’ll be rewarded with a hearty breakfast and a tasty Italian meal.
Disclaimer: I was invited as a guest of Lt Osteria. Opinions expressed here are purely my own and based on my experience at the time of the visit