After the sloppy meal at Cafe Cavallino, I wasn't planning to visit Lygon Street anytime soon. A Cudo voucher meal with friends decided my fate and I arrived at Michelino's Trattoria for lunch.
There was no gaudy coloured signage or decor. Instead I entered into a homely environment typical of a down-to-earth family trattoria focused on serving good food. A wood-fire oven occupied a separate section which also catered to takeaways without interrupting the main restaurant. The warm and friendly feeling was furthered by the personable and attentive service.
Our meal included a seafood platter, desserts and a bottle of wine for 2 persons. At the value of ADUD59, I wasn't expecting much but I was pleasantly surprised. The seafood platter arrived with a selection of cold Tasmanian oysters and blue swimmer crabs, steamed mussels, grilled fish and prawns, and fried calamari. Everyone agreed that the seafood tasted fresh and flavoursome including the bed of risotto.
Satiated by the delightful meal paired with our choice of Chardonnay and Shiraz, the attentive service and enjoyable conversations, we had forgotten about desert. Fortunately the attentive staff served up a sticky date pudding and tiramisu. The classic Australian desert of brown sugar and fresh dates hit the spot but the tiramisu didn't "pick me up". The zabaglione or cream mixture was acceptable but the savoidardi or Italian ladyfinger cookies did not absorb enough of the espresso coffee.
All of us agreed that our lunch at Michelino's Trattoria was an enjoyable experience. The food was prepared with care and the service was above par. The smoky smell of wood-fired pizza that greeted me as I departed warranted another visit. With my faith in Lygon Street temporarily renewed, I was ready to discover more of the good cooking in Melbourne's Little Italy.