Stellini Bar

July 24, 2011

198 Little Collins Street, Melbourne

Stellini Bar is a small cafe in Little Collins Street, owned by the same people that own the Mess Hall on Bourke Street, which is more of a restaurant. I was here with D for lunch on a surprisingly sunny day earlier in the month. Inside there is a pleasant, almost provincial French decor, with jars of olive oil behind the counter and cherry blossom floral displays.
Getting a good, properly focused shot of my latte took about six attempts, which makes me think I’m actually getting worse at taking photographs of food. Either that or just extremely picky and demanding of perfection. The coffee was good, nice and strong but also very hot – I usually prefer my lattes to be at a drinkable temperature when they arrive.

My Latin-literate dining companion ironically went with the Caesar salad, which he reported favourably on, commenting that the bacon ratio was “spot on”. Having had many terrible Caesar salads in the past (why oh why do some places dice the eggs and put it into the dressing??), I tend to steer clear of them, but knowing that Stellini does a good version is comforting. Nicely poached eggs, I noticed.

I had the Caprese salad with buffalo mozzarella, tomato and basil. I love this salad, the tang of the tomato always goes so well with the aromatic basil and creamy mozzarella. This mozzarella in particular was very creamy, the creamiest I’ve ever had, I’d say, but the tomatoes were lovely and tangy so were the perfect foil to the cheese. Plenty of salt and pepper, which is what this salad needs, being so simple, and I quite enjoyed the variety of large and cherry tomatoes.

A short time after we’d finished eating, however, workers in the building site next door began drilling into the adjacent wall. The noise was horrific, and it drove us (and I suppose several other patrons) away. It wouldn’t have been so bad, had it not totally impeded conversation of any sort. Case in point:
(said at the top of our voices)
“Do you have a car?”
“Of course I have a card!”
“A CAR!”
“Ugh…”Here’s hoping the renovations are finished, because I did enjoy Stellini bar, I felt they used good produce and did simple Italian dishes very well. If you’re down the Paris end of Collins Street and looking for a bite to eat, I’d recommend it.

Stellini Bar on Urbanspoon

Filed under: Italian, Melbourne CBD