We are always on the hunt to find places that are both kid friendly and offer delicious food in a great location. With the whole family in town, I was put in charge of finding somewhere for us to dine. Since it was a beautiful night, I thought we would give Tutto Bene a go and hope for the best.
ATMOSPHERE & SERVICE
Located along the bustling Southgate Melbourne strip, the restaurant has been in operation for more than 10 years. With a recent revamp and expansion onto the alfresco rooftop area, the venue was reopened in 2014 offer a range of new features include a breakfast and brunch menu option.
Tutto Bene means ‘everything’s good’ in Italian, and that’s just what they work towards. Offering stunning views over the Yarra River, this is the perfect location for afterwork drinks or a weekend spritz on their outdoor balcony area.
The interior features chunky wooden tables and chairs, dark floors and a beautiful feature gelato counter. Pops of colour come from the mismatched glassware on the tables and a few large photos scattered throughout.
The only downfall here was the service. We had to ask multiple times to have our water glasses refilled, to the point where I just had to get up to get the bottle of water myself to pour and had to ask two separate people to take our food order. We arrived right at 6pm to an empty restaurant, so wasn’t quite sure why the serviced lacked so much, but was quite embarrassing for the guests we brought along.
Focusing on true traditional Italian food, everything from cured meats, stuzzichini (small Italian dishes to share, similar to tapas) and their famous risottos fill the menu. The options were endless when it came to deciding on what to order.
To start we ordered some warm olives, served with olive oil and bread plus their ‘Salumi Misti’, which was a selection of cured meats, ham hock terrine and herbed bread sticks. The olives were well seasoned and the cured meat was a fantastic quality. Definitely a great way to start an Italian feast.
Once we finished our entrees, mains were quick to follow. I went with the ‘Anatra‘, which was organic duck, porcini mushroom and sage risotto. It was full of flavour, creamy and a decent amount of duck. I can see why they are known for their risotto dishes.
Our little one ordered the ‘Lasagna‘, which was a rustic Calabrian lasagna with Cape Grim beef bolognese with porcini, egg and bechamel. A bit different from what we are use to, however was a great alternative to the traditional lasagna. I wasn’t sure what to expect with the béchamel, but definitely worked well with the egg and bolognese.
MC ordered the ‘Cotoletta’ which was a crumbed Flinders Island wallaby rump, with smashed pistachio and lemon. Although another great alternative to the traditional veal cotoletta, MC found his to be quite dry and lacked any flavours. This was probably the only downfall for the food. Maybe if it would have been served with some greens or a side it would have worked better.
We were quite keen to find somewhere the whole family would enjoy from start to finish. The new outdoor alfresco area is fantastic and would be perfect for after work drinks. Although a great location, the service was the biggest let down for us and probably the biggest reason why we won’t be heading back any time soon.