Tuesday, 17 May 2011

CBD lunches: Mezzo

Venue: Mezzo Bar and Grill (formerly Oyster Little Burke)

Address: 35 Little Burke Street, Melbourne

Dining crew: SB, P-Ho, VH, P-Mutt 

Last week I went to lunch with a group of friends from work to ‘celebrate’ the rather sombre occasion of our favourite ski bunny, SB, escaping the corporate world to ski full time. On a miserably rainy day we all turned up to work more professionally dressed than usual (SB in a bow tie) and snuck out for an ‘express’ lunch at Mezzo ($28 for two courses or $38 for three).

Mezzo has a warm sophistication with white walls and linen offset by dark timber furnishings, black curtains,  boudoir style red fabric light fittings and lots of attention to detail. The décor compliments the more refined than rustic Sicilian menu (See I'm so hungreeeeeeeeee's post for pictures). 

After ducking into the toasty restaurant from the miserable day outside, our waiter immediately put us at ease, settled us into our table and served us bread rolls still warm from the oven with olive oil. We perused the menu while happily munching on bread.  The express menu offers a choice of three entrées, three mains and three desserts – we decided to go with the three course option because we couldn’t decide between entrées and dessert.

I ordered the salad of roasted baby beetroot, watercress, candied hazelnuts and burrata. The menu description caused a bit of a problem because it failed to mention that pinenuts were included with the candied hazelnuts. While this would be a bonus for most people, I have unfortunately developed an allergy to them, which has severely curtailed my habit of putting pesto on everything. After quickly explaining the problem to our waiter they had a new pinenut free salad to me in less than three minutes. The beetroot provided an earthy balance to the piquant cress and indulgently creamy burrata – very yum. 

I managed to steal a taste of P-Ho’s semolina dusted calamari with fennel and herb salad. The calamari was tender and was nicely complimented by the salad and the caper, lemon and sultana salsa. SB enjoyed the roast pumpkin soup with pinenuts and balsamic. 


For the main I went with the cavatelli with pork and veal ragu. The pasta was cooked al dente and the ragu was rich and hearty with the added freshness of finely chopped flat parsley stirred through before serving. 

My dining companions inhaled their salmon fillet and porterhouse steak, they both commented that the inclusion of walnuts in the caponata on the side lifted the dish out of the ordinary.

For dessert we shared the tiramisu della nonna and the cannoli filled with ricotta, candied fruit and bitter chocolate. The cannoli pastry was perfectly crispy, which provided a good contrast to the soft, creamy ricotta filling that was nicely spiced and not too sweet. The tiramisu was a decadently creamy dessert with an excellent coffee sponge served in gorgeous little copper pots (VH mentioned hers had a little too much cocoa powder on top). Again it was a well balanced dish (not too sweet); it definitely makes my top five tiramisus. 

Highlights: entrées and desserts

Lowlight: undisclosed pinenuts

All images by P-Ho

Mezzo Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

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