Melbourne is spoilt for choice when it comes to different cuisines from all over the world—from Japanese and South American, to Ethiopian! But there’s nothing quite like Italian cuisine and the aperitivo hour—the happiest and yummiest of hours. Piccolino in North Fitzroy brings their Perugia-inspired goods with a new aperitivo menu to be enjoyed as a casual after-work snack with colleagues, a pre-dinner bite with loved-ones or simply the start to a relaxing night ahead.
Italian head chef and business partner Andrea Fioriti has led Piccolino in a new direction, challenging the boundaries of a typical trattoria dining experience. What’s a trattoria? you ask while simultaneously googling it. It’s an Italian-style eatery that’s a little less formal than a restaurant but more formal than an osteria (which is sort of like a wine bar). Fioriti’s ‘what’s fresh today’ philosophy offers traditional Italian food that’s both seasonal and made in-house including their weekly rotating pasta, gnocchi and hand-stretched, 72-hour wood-fired pizza. The new space is also brighter and quirkier than ever with splashes of yellow and pizza boards with cheeky mantras hanging off the walls. Read: ‘Eat pasta run fasta’; ‘In crust, we trust’; and ‘Gnocchi yourself out’.
Their standout aperitivo dish is the torta al testo—warm flat bread filled with grilled veggies, fresh burrata and salumi. This Umbrian specialty dates back to the Roman empire when it was originally cooked on large disc bricks called ‘a testo’. You’ll also find the classics, like bruschetta and mixed antipasti, and refreshing spritz on tap to wash it all down (hello Friday night drinks!).
Of course, there are pastas and pizzas aplenty: spaghetti bolognese, tagliatelle carbonara, gnocchi (handmade by 77-year old Nonno Gaetano—bless!), risotto and ALL the pizzas. Pizza favourites include the Italian Stallion and the Piggie White, as well as the Melanzana—eggplant heaven.
But I can’t possibly choose between pasta and pizza! you cry in desperation. Settle petal. Piccolino’s got you covered with the Spag Bowl pizza: spaghetti Bolognese served in a hand-crafted edible pizza bowl. Genius!