I have very fond memories of the old Yak Italian Kitchen on Flinders Lane. It was the scene of one of my first ever The Plus Ones events, an incredible six course pizza and beer matched extravaganza. The venue became well known for high quality Italian fare however the existing owners felt like a refresh.
Lello Pasta Bar is the refresh – and what a refresh it is. Named after found Leo, Melbourne’s new pasta bar prepares fresh, authentic Italian fare right in front of your eyes. Our table of six perched right next to the master pasta makers and settled in for a treat of a night. When I say treat, I mean it. 10 mercifully share-plated-sized courses matched with five wines from different Italian regions. The regional aspect of Lello is key – the team aims for your dining experience to be a culinary journey through that glorious boot.
The pastas. All of it is made from scratch each day using sprouted, germinated flour for a lower gluten hit. On the day we experienced handmade potato gnocchetti, egglplant and hazelnut raviloi, potato and mint culurgiones, burnt grain flour casarecce with parmesan and cracked pepper. We were being treated.
My favourite of the quartet was the casarecce. I could have plate after plate of that deliciously simple pasta finished with hints of pecorino, parmesan and pepper.
The wines we tried were from four different areas of Italy: Piemonte, Abruzzo, Puglia and Veneto. Each was carefully pared and did what a good wine does – complimented the dishes perfectly.
One thing’s for sure, if there’s an Italian equivalent to an expert sushi master they are definitely here at Lello Pasta Bar.
Co-founder of The Plus Ones, Rukmal lives and breathes events.
Lello Pasta Bar
Melbourne, VIC 3000