I don’t do restaurant reviews very often. As much as I enjoy a good meal, I wouldn’t say I’m a foody. But every now and then I go to a place that really catches me and makes me want to send others to. In Melbourne it was Pellegrini’s.
I got the recommendation from a twitter friend and the restaurant seems to be labeled as an Espresso Bar, though I think greasy spoon might be a better description. Though I guess it depends on what time of day you go there.
When I first walked by it I thought it was a greasy spoon, and decided to look at another place on my list. Well, the other place was a bit fancier then I wanted for lunch so I came back here. Pellegrini’s was opened in the 60s, hence the greasy spoon feel and serves excellent Italian food. The menu hangs from the ceiling and does not list prices – I would budget $20 to $25 for lunch. So, it’s not exactly cheap, but it’s good.
I’ve read some reviews that the the staff there is rude. I did not experience that, in fact, my waiter was excellent, and made me some special drink that was absolutely delicious. I don’t know what it was but it was slushy, pink and tasty.
I was there for lunch and the place was packed with local business people. You could tell it was a local crowd who visited frequently, a good sign for any restaurant. While I was there I met a local man and had a great chat. Turns out the place is a bit famous in its own right and has hosted many a visiting politician, like Bill Clinton. Or so I’m told.
No, it’s not the best Italian food I’ve ever had, but I’ve also been to Italy and Little Italy in NYC, so I do have high standards. But good food combined with that local institution atmosphere makes this a great place to eat in Melbourne.