We have heard many reviews on the famous Grossi Florentino so we decided to give the modern Italian “The Grill” a try when mum visited us.
Both Harry and I went for the pre-theatre $35 menu with 2 courses, a glass of wine and coffee/tea. Harry got the calamari ragu, which was a dish of smooth al dente pasta with a rich ragu. It did have a bit of a fishy whiff to it, but not overly so. Perhaps a touch more garlic would have made it a more rounded dish.
|Spaghetti con ragu di calamari|
Spaghetti with calamari ragu
Followed by a Sirloin Minute Steak, which was fabulously beefy, tender and moist! It was cooked to perfection, smoky and medium rare.
|Paillarda di manzo|
Sirloin minute steak with scallop potato
I had the roasted tuna steak - an amazingly buttery piece of tuna quickly seared on the grill and roasted to perfection. The smoky burn marks and the tasty tuna is definitely a sign of a kitchen that respects the fresh produce. The over-seasoning probably contributed to how good it tastes, but still, I prefer my food a little less salty.
Roasted tuna steak with roasted tomato
Alpha tried their famous Orecchiette con cime di rapa made with wholemeal orecchiette with a nice bite. It was a nice foil to the rich olive oil and crisp wafers of cured pigs cheek. The cured pigs cheek tasted a bit like prosciutto, but the texture seemed finer and the flavour intensified by the baking or frying. In between the chewy pasta were tender kipfler potatoes and the contrasting bite of the cime di rapa.
|Orecchiette con cime di rapa AUD22|
Hand shaped Puglia style wholemeal pasta, pigs cheek, "cime di rapa" potato, chilli, pecorino
And of course, Alpha can never go pass tripe when he sees it on the menu! Filled with silky strips of tender tripe in a light tomato sauce, this was a dish he couldn't resist! The addition of pine nuts and sultanas gave it a bit of a Moroccan twist. This tripe was obviously in a different style and not as rich as the Trippa alla Parmigiana at North Bondi Italian, but it was good enough for him to mop up all the juices with bread.
|Trippa alla Fiorentina AUD22|
Ox tripe, white wine, tomato, pine nuts and sultanas
Mum went for the Filetto di vitello arrosto. Instead of anaemic veal, this was a rich tasting fillet wrapped in a thin sliver of bacon that provided a nice saltiness. The creamy parsnip puree was good with the jus. There were also bacon lards that were smoky and bursting with fatty flavour :)
|Filetto di vitello arrosto AUD35|
Veal fillet roasted, parsnip, braised lentils, bacon, shallots
With so much food in our stomach, we could only manage one dessert to share. Alpha picked the Orta di cioccolato, and it was a rich smooth chocolate cake with a soft centre as promised, but not oozing molten chocolate as I imagined it would. The malt ice cream was very obviously malty and smooth and creamy. We didn't really know what to do with the chocolate shavings. Presumably it should be sprinkled on top of the warm chocolate cake, but it was yummy by the spoonful!
|Torta di cioccolato AUD18|
Chocolate cake soft centre, chocolate shavings, malt ice cream
The Grill turned out to be a great little Italian. While it may not be as fancy as The Restaurant upstairs, the emphasis on simple food with very fresh, good ingredients is obvious.
(03) 9662 1811
80 Bourke St
Melbourne VIC 3000
The Grill, Grossi Florentino
More photos: The Grill at Grossi Florentino - avlxyz/Flickr
- Grossi Florentino, by Larissa Dubecki, Epicure, The Age September 1, 2009
- Grossi Florentino - Frommer's
- Melbourne Food Review: Grossi Florentino: The Grill (Pre-theatre Dinner) by Kat on 10 September 2009 - Spatula, Spoon and Saturday
- NOT: Grossi Florentino Grill, Melbourne, by Jetsetting Joyce - October 15, 2009 - MEL: HOT OR NOT