Saturday, 24 February 2007

"The favourite child of St Kilda's Acland Street"...

is the status held by Cicciolina (130 Acland St, St Kilda) according to The Age Good Food Guide 2006. This one-hatter deserves the title and I'm one of the few that quite likes the no bookings policy. If you don't like to be kept waiting I recommend a late Sunday lunch.

Service is excellent from the willingness to convert the table for four by the window to one for two to the prompt refilling of the bread basket. The staff provide just the right amount of attentiveness, always a fine balancing act.

There is an enticing list of specials and a decent selection of wines by the glass (starting from $6.00), crucial for any long Sunday lunch. The spaghettini alla vongole ($17.50) arrives at the table bringing with it a tempting aroma of garlic and chilli. My better half looks on enviously as I tuck into the generous serve. He is pleased, however, by the little bowl of grated Parmesan accompanying his penne ($16.50) for one who is heavy-handed with the cheese. This is simple, comforting food done well.

The dessert list is tempting but we retire to The Galleon Café (9 Carlisle St, St Kilda) for coffee while perusing the papers. It is the perfect ending to a lazy summer weekend.

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