1. Bar Idda in Brunswick East for its cosy, rustic ambience and quality Sicilian cuisine. Owners Alfredo and Lisa La Spina have drawn on their passions from their parents’ homeland to bring diners an atmosphere which is so homely you will feel like you’re sitting in Mamma or Nonna’s dining room. With dishes including trapanese house made spaghetti with Tasmanian mussels, almond and San Marzano pesto and pistachio and lemon crumbed lamb cutlets – foodies won’t be disappointed here.
2. Enjoy a little piece of Greece at Hellenic Republic in Melbourne. Brought to you by renowned chefs, George Calombaris and Travis McAuley, this Greek taverna brings you traditional Greek food with a modern twist. Think saganaki with peppered figs, succulent lamb shoulder and tiger prawns with ouzo spiced salt and chilli. Make sure you find your second stomach and make room for the Galaktoboureko (custard pie) for dessert.
3. I have found my naughty indulgence for an afternoon week day snack. Last week I was introduced to Bar Lourinha, a tiny little bar at the top end of Little Collins Street. At lunch, be tempted in by the smell of freshly cooked seafood coming from the kitchen. Or do what I do and sit on the cosy sofas at the bay window at front with a big plate of churros with dulce de leche. Bliss!
4. If you’re after a quality brew near Degraves Street, then head to the Cup of Truth. For a tiny hole in the wall, this coffee spot offers top class coffee using the finest beans. They offer an Axil blend daily plus some extra single origins which rotate during the week.
5. Meatball and Wine Bar has finally arrived in Smith Street, much to the delight of many Collingwood locals. This funky fit out is similar to its other branches around Melbourne – full of wine racks, painted walls and neon lights. But the biggest draw card is the meat balls themselves. Get stuck in!
6. Manchester Press – one of Melbourne’s hottest brunch spots in the CBD. Hidden towards the end of Rankins Lane, Manchester Press offers great coffee and quality food in a buzzing environment. One of the most impressive bagel inspired menus I have seen in a while.
7. There’s so much to love about Yarraville Village with its old worldy charm. One of my favourite coffee shops is Wee Jeanie, a perfect spot to relax and read the paper in the sunshine over a cup of freshly brewed coffee.
8. Bowery to Williamsburg – an answer to any New York food craving in the CBD. Think mac and cheese, reuben sandwiches, pretzels and great coffee from their Slayer coffee machine to match. Be warned this place gets busy so be prepared to queue at peak times.
9. This delicious Chocolate Self Saucing Pudding recipe from Donna Hay.
10. One of my latest french toast creations – a recipe for Cinnamon spiced french toast.
What have been your favourite foodie finds around town this week?