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Cecconi's Flinders Lane Restaurant & Cellar Bar Re-launch

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Cecconi's Flinders Lane Restaurant and Cellar Bar is one of Melbourne's top dining experiences and has been an acclaimed and awarded restaurant for some years. Even recently it was awarded Top 10 Italian Restaurants in The Age Good Food latest review. Yet the owners of Cecconi's are not resting on their success, but have revamped the fitout and re-launched Cecconi's in spectacular style with a 5 course degustation. Check out our Best Italian Restaurants in Melbourne.

The memories come flooding as I step into the spacious basement dining area (invite) and immediately notice a step up in finery in terms of decor and lighting. Cecconi's is a restaurant for not just corporate lunch or dinner, but also the perfect place to take your date. Sharp looking wait staff immediately engage and I was handed an Aperol spritz to begin proceedings.

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Cecconi's boasts an expansive kitchen that most chefs would kill for...

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Fine dining is alive and well with a classic arrangement featuring white tablecloths, quality high back seating and fine glassware and cutlery.

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Cecconi's has soul. You can feel it in the air and sense it. This is not some corporate behemoth pontificating an experience they prescribe to the masses, but Cecconi's is about an honest passionate family who know how to give punters what they desire...

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Check out the hospitable and convivial owners...

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Cecconi's served us some impressive canapes such as the above top notch prosciutto...

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Head chef Daniel Kranjcic was in great form with his sizeable team hitting the heights, even in the canapes.

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Risotto, freshly shaved black truffles, parmesan, truffle oil was met with groans of approval at our table. Black truffles and risotto are two of my favourite things and to enjoy them under the one billing was a highlight. This dish screams rustic with the woodiness of the black truffles and the hearty creamy risotto. Health specialists should prescribe this dish for general wellbeing...

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Note the generous shavings of the black truffles - no microscope needed here...

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The follow up dish to the Risotto displayed Cecconi's versatility. Chatham Island Blue Cod, confit tomato, fennel, fried zucchini flower, aged balsamic was arranged delicately as a show of finesse. The balance of flavours and textures was wonderful. Some restaurants feel they have to stuff every zucchini flower they see, usually with goats cheese. I enjoyed the non stuffed zucchini flower as it's own flavour, against the cod and piquant confit.

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Cecconi's is a restaurant where diners relax and enjoy themselves with finery without stiffness. The conversation here is usually loud and in full swing. We were discussing parenting and social media at our table, a lively conversation indeed. The arrival of Twice cooked duck, sweet potato puree, and lime only added to our festivity and general pep. Perfectly cooked duck with crispy outside and juicy delectable pink meat inside. Having experienced some dry duck dishes recently in some Melbourne restaurants, this was a masterclass in cooking duck. Another dish for health specialists to prescribe...

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Check out the convivial crowd at the Cecconi's re-launch...

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We were delightfully entertained by Emma Burchell, songstress extraordinaire...

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Caramel pannacotta, wild fig cake, macadamia ice cream was a dessert that showed plenty of technique. This was not the usual straight pannacotta, but the featuring of the wild fig cake gave this an edgy feel.

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Cecconi's then produced this Formaggio with pear, dried fruits, quince paste and crackers. Ristretto from the latest Nespresso large glistening steel machine opened my eyes concerning Nespresso and their coffee capability (machines used in over 700 Michelin star rated restaurants around the world).

All the while we were served quality Bellvale and Chalmers wines from Victoria.

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Here I am pictured (right) alongside Robb Abbott of Nespresso, and Sofia Levin Melbourne identity and journalist extraordinaire.

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Cecconi's has reinvented itself in terms of ambience and style, and continues to charm and allure with its rustic Italian culinary experience. Highly recommended.

Credit to Tim O'Connor for most photos above with some also taken by myself.

Tags: Food