Maya has been raving about Solarino for quite some time. Apparently, she and Mik are quite a fan of the place and practically live there. So one day, after having been turned down due to Journal Canteen’s popularity, we ended up there for dinner.
(bread and butter! yes! BUTTER!)
The first thing I noticed about the place was that it was a lot more spacious than I expected. Sure it was a cafe, but it was warmly decorated and had a nice restaurant feel to it. Its menu was projected onto an empty wall (kinda cool, but I can imagine all the restaurant snobs having issues here). The waiter greeted us like an old friend (I think that’s because Mik is there so damn much, he practically was).
(Mik’s rigatoni, he purposely wouldn’t keep it still)
Josh, Mik and I all opted for pasta while Maya went for some fries and Nina ‘I’m just drinking’. In the spirit of 6pm on a Friday night, they ordered a bottle of Moscato to start. Personally, if I don’t get some food in me before the booze, I spend the next day being thoroughly sick. Weak. I know. We were brought some bread and butter. I’m so stoked at the presence of butter at a pasta cafe. We need to revolt against this neglect of butter!
Mik had opted for rigatoni of some description. I’m not too sure what it was but he clearly loved it. In fact he’s so in love with the place, he would have loved it regardless. And yes, he’s not shy about having his picture on teh interweb! I honestly couldn’t remember what was it in – except ricotta.
(spaghettini with prawns, clams, calamari, chilli, white wine and tomato – $24.90)
When presented with too many choices, I went to boring, but favourite route, the spaghettini with seafood. It was delicious. It had nice plump prawns, vongole and calamari – absolutely packed with the seafood. Well seasoned with chilli, wine and olive oil. I loved it. It was one of the better mixed seafood spaghetti out there.
(tagliatelle with ham, chilli, peas, basil, lemon and cream – $22.90)
Josh opted for the tagliatelle. He loved it. It had this distinct tang to it that wasn’t lemony. The pasta was so soft and silky, it’s a been of a switch from my perfectly al dente spaghettini. It was extremely enjoyable although I still liked mine better.
Overall, a really impressive range of lovely pasta dishes. A little more expensive than your average Lygon Street pasta shop but definitely a lot more inventive and well made.
Definitely a place to be for interesting bowls of pasta. We then went to a bar and Friday night commenced.
Solarino, 279 Little Collins Street, Melbourne Vic 3000