I’ve always viewed Hardware Lane between Bourke and Lonsdale Streets as a bit of a tourist trap. The restaurants and bars along this stretch are good but you’ll probably end up paying a “tourist tax” as the prices are a little on the high side… and don’t get me started on the touts!
A little while ago I was wandering down the laneway and my friend wanted to give Il Nostro Posto a try so we headed on in.
The restuarant has a really nice feel to it. We headed up the stairs to the first floor where there was a small bar area with some seatting. Tables could have been spaced out a little more but there was enough room.
In hindsight I think we probably over ordered as we couldn’t finish off our meals. That’s not an indictment on the quality of the food, but rather the size of the dishes and what we chose.
The food was very good. For starters we ordered
- Caponata – mix of eggplant, capers, celery, caramelised onions, basil, tomato in a sweet and sour flavour said Agrodolce
- Caprese salad – mozzarella, fresh tomato, basil and extra virgin olive oil
which came with a serve of bread.
For mains we ordered
- Carbonara – pasta with pancetta, egg, touch of cream and black pepper
- Guazzetto di pesce – a fresh selection of seafood, oven baked with tomato, chilli and fish bisque sauce, topped with a crusty dough
Since I’m not a seafood fan I left that to my friend but I did enjoy the carbonara.
Overall, as I said above, the food was very good. The actual restaurant ambience was very nice.
However, I think that prices were a little over the odds. Melbourne has many superb Italian restaurants with food of similar quality with more reasonable prices.
I think a good rule to remember is that if there’s a tout out front trying to pull you into the restaurant then you can expected some higher prices – just a observation I’ve made over the years.