Pellegrini Espresso Bar is a very old establishment at the top of Burke St that is easy to pass up as just another small Italian eatery/cafe. However, the moment you walk in it is as if you are have passed through a portal and are suddenly transported from a cafe in Melbourne to one in Italy. This place has all the genuine condiments of a true Italian establishment which has forzen in time, untouched byt he modernization surrounding it. The aroma of ground coffee in the air, old men shouting the customer's orders to the old women in the kithcen at the back, no real menu except a cryptic board of pasta names - you really just have to know what they have and what you want.
For this meal I decided to go with the lasagna and Mr. Z had his usual rigatoni with marinara sauce. And of course a drink to accompany. Years ago when I first entered this establishment I sat down and ordered my pasta and a staple cold drink commonly found in Australia - lemon lime bitters. The old man behind the counter quickly corrected me that such a drink was inappropriate and suggested the granita instead which for that day was grapefruit flavoured. I soon realized how sound his advice was. The sweet and tangy taste of the fruit juice combined with the crumbled ice makes for a perfect complement to a large serving of hot pasta saturated in a tomato based sauce. If you want a hot drink there is of course there is always espresso.
For those who might still have room after the generous serving of pasta there is a large range of cakes and desserts available behind the counter. I always tell myself that I won't finish my pasta dish so there is room to try dessert but next thing I know the pasta dish is cleaned and I can only sit there and look at the various desserts renewing my vow for next time.
Food: If you are hungry and what a filling comforting food then this is the place to be.
Must try: Pasta + Granita
Setting: Italian cafe
Service: Fast and efficient
Damage: I’ve never worked out the price but it usually costs $15-20 per person.
Labels: Australia, Drink, Eat, Granita, Italian, Lunch, Melbourne, Pasta, Pellegrini Espresso Bar