Food

Itali.Co A Slice of Italy in St Kilda

Itali.Co is an Italian oasis in Barkly St and is the place to be for all the cool kids and their Nonnas.

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Itali.Co has been the driving force of Manager Lino Maglione (master pizza maker) and the cuisine here shows flair and brings a modern twist to Italian classics.

The World Loves Melbourne enjoyed a sumptious 3 hour Sunday lunch by invitation. With a $30 weekend special including pizza/pasta, glass of wine and panacotta dessert and coffee, this is unbeatable value. We noticed an almost packed restaurant (not when I took photos late afternoon for discretion purposes) with many groups and families.

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Itali.Co boasts an attractive light and airy ambience, with loads of space and large windows allowing natural light. The little touches include the flowers above...

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Itali.Co covers it all for an Italian experience in St Kilda. We appreciated the Italian staff, the Italian dishes and the range of Italian wines and beers.

Impressive was the Italian Sangiovese on offer (above) as we imbibed our way through a sunny Sunday afternoon...

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Itali.Co impressed with this cheese and meats board, served on a stand, featuring 3 Italian cheeses and a selection of 3 tasty cured and smoked meats. The truffle honey & homemade vegetable chutney were great as dipping accompaniments. The World Loves Melbourne loves a generous platter.

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Also stunning was the FRITTO MISTO DI MARE featuring mixed seafood crumbled in semolina served with a horseradish mayo. The table rose and attacked this like it was our last meal on earth... At this point I have to say Itali.Co know what to do with seafood!

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Arancini is a staple of Italian restaurants and Itali.Co doesn't disappoint with flavoursome plump arancini balls. A point of difference is the quality ingredients including Neapolitan broccoli, DOP taleggio & porcini mushroom.

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Itali.Co are famed for their pizza and pasta, and took out the Best Pizza Melbourne under $30 2013 with the Good Food Guide, for the Bunga Bunga pizza. We highly rated this pizza ourselves with its pork sausage kick and overall quality of ingredients, including Fior di latte, tomato, berkshire sausage, porcini mushroom & parmesan. You can see the pizza oven from most points of the restaurant.

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On a pizza high we also commented on the pasta dish above as a "must have" for next time. The SPAGHETTINI DEL GOLFO is an absolute cracker featuring local calamari, tiger prawns, moreton bay bugs, zucchini & roma tomato. The seafood is the hero and not overdone. Generous and tasty the seafood flavours permeate the pasta as a song of the sea. So pretty on the plate.

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So pretty I had to take another photo...

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Even the Bolognese was a hit with the kids...

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The World Loves Melbourne loves an intense creamy rustic risotto and Itali.Co served up this beauty, RISOTTO D’ANATRA E FUNGHI PORCINI featuring Carnaroli rice with braised duck and porcini mushrooms. Again, the dish was generous with tasty chunks of the braised meat and porcini mushroom.

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Italio.Co prove they are versatile and have something on the menu for everyone. As well as compelling pasta and pizza dishes there's a selection of excellent mains. We imbibed this Slow cooked duck breast with carrot and pancetta souffle with vincotto reduction. This was a sophisticated main with duck flavours to the fore.

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By now there were several crowd pleasers and we'd been dining for almost 2 1/2 hours. But there's always room for dessert, especially when there's Nutella pizza involved. So pretty and deceptively rich...

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Rivalling the Nutella pizza as a favourite was this Mini chocolate volcano cake with warm chocolate cream centre served with strawberries & homemade Tahiti vanilla gelato. The rich chocolate centre was warm and alluring.

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For something different, yet also compelling, was the TIRAMISÙ AI FRUTTI DI BOSCO mixed berry tiramisu. Refreshing, not heavy flavours, was a great way to round off a memorable meal.

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The waiter twisted our arm for Limoncello indulgence...

Itali.Co was a great experience for the whole family with strengths across the menu. Check out the Monday Pizza nights and Tuesday Pasta nights for only $13.

We would like to return for the exceptional service, the modern (with touch of retro) ambience and the impressive dishes across the menu. The Pizza and Pasta is exceptional here but the Mains and desserts also warrant appreciation. Highly recommended.

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