Friday, October 21, 2011

Lupino Bar & Bistro

Whilst I always enjoy Brad's company, there's also nothing like having a good girls night out every now and again as well.

Shamim is a lovely photographer friend of mine, who I very quickly discovered after meeting, also likes fluffy cute animals.

Oh and food.

So we decided one night to have dinner at Lupino, as it was literally a 5 minute walk from her apartment in the city at the top end of Little Collins Street. So jealous.

Lupino Bar & Bistro is quite discreet, no signs preluding to it's location, just a little neon lit wolf head. Tres cute. Reminds me a little of Chin Chin and their neon rabbit too, is this the new trend? Neon lit animals? I'm hanging out for pink elephants.

Although Lupino has not been open for very long, around 4 or 5 months by now, it feels quite established and comfortable. Yes it is a little darker than I usually like and so I can't really comment on the interior since I couldn't really see much, but even on a Tuesday night it was quite busy with a gentle hum of activity and chatter amongst the clientele.

I always love an open kitchen in a restaurant, it just makes you feel more immersed in the place.

I also love the little logo Lupino has, maybe it's suposed to be the jaws of a wolf? Still, it's modern and quirky, and I love yellow. Mmmm.

Some wine for me, cider for Shamim. Oh and lovely bread.

We started with some baked Polpetti in Sugo to share, to put it in to simple man's English, meatballs in tomato sauce. A lovely way to start the meal, completely hearty, tomato-y and warming on a cool evening.

Asparagus with...I forgot which cheese. But my gosh, this was perfect, I loved the slightly charred aspargus which were lovely, sweet and fresh. The cheese on top was just that rich, melting goodness kick to boost it up to another level.

For our mains, Shamim ordered one of the specials, tortellini with a cream sauce, with some truffles. I forget the exact details. But. Truffles! I only had a slight nibble, but the cream sauce wasn't too heavy and the pasta was just exquisite, perfectly cooked!

I opted for the veal and porcini risotto, which came in a very nicely sized portion and was steaming away happily when it reached my table. I found the flavours very pleasant, although veal has a tendency to be subtle, it really came through really nicely. It was a bit different to the typical risotto you get around Melbourne which usually tend to be on the creamier side, this tasted much meatier. I'm not quite sure what word to use, but the stock came through a lot more.

The rice was quite interesting as well, the texture of it was very al dente, not in the slightest bit soggy. So whilst I liked this, as it felt much more rustic and authentic, if you do prefer a softer, more melt in your mouth risotto, this may not be your cup of tea.

We were given these chillis when our mains came out, but weren't sure what to have them on...

Whilst I don't always find room for dessert with Brad, there's always room for dessert when you're out with the girls...

Shamim and I ordered the very decadent self saucing mint chocolate cake. With a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.

This was beautifully warm, cocoa-y with a hint of mint essence somewhere in there, adding some lightness to the otherwise quite rich dessert. The saucy centre was just the perfect thing to make the cake moist and luscious. We probably should have ordered one each...

We left, glad that we each had at least a short walk to ge back to her place and my car. We had been absolutely doted on all night by the staff, who were all smiles and very attentive. I love the concept of Lupino, intimate, with a fairly small and limited menu, that they do quite well.

I'd recommend it for a date night, girl or boy....

Lupino Bar and Bistro
41 Little Collins St
Melbourne, VIC 3000

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