Recently D and I had a catch up with Mr Lego, Stacky, Princess D and Pasta. Mr Lego suggested Nero Group on Lygon in Carlton and seeing I haven't headed out that way in awhile, it made the perfect reason for me to drive there. Italian food and good friends, I really couldn't think of a reason to say no.
Nero is located on Lygon St, opposite the park. On a beautiful sunny day, it's the perfect spot to get a bite, chat with friends and just watch the world go by.
Since none of us were particularly hungry, we decided to skip entrees and just get a bunch of mains to share. Princess D, Mr Lego and I had all eyed the squid ink risotto on the menu, so we ordered 2 portions to share along with other things.
The squid ink risotto was served with seared scallops and fresh calamari. The scallops were beautifully seared and the calamari was finished with lime for a light zesty flavour. This was a good dish in general but I found it lacking in flavour or just more saltiness. By the time I added salt it was fine, but I find it disappointing when I need to reach for salt, I am a firm believer that when a dish is served to the table, the flavours should be all there and only a small group of people who like their food salty should reach for the salt. I know I am normally not one of those people, so that to me indicated it was a bit bland, though Stacky and Mr Lego disagreed with me. This one might be one of those dishes you need to try and form an opinion on your own.
The other pasta we got was the taggliatelle which came with wild boar ragu and mushrooms. The tagliatelle was cooked to the perfect al dente. This was not the usual tomato base ragu but a more refined and stewed boar ragu. The meat was soft and just fell apart, it wasn't as heavy as I had imagined. It was a pleaseant surprise and plenty of meat on the plate.
First pizza we got to share was the valentia. Tomato, mushroom, fior de latter (buffalo mozzarella), proscuitto, rocket and parmesan. This pizza has everything I like in a pizza, done on a thin base and with just the right quantity of topping. I made sure I got seconds.
Second pizza was the contadina, this came with pork sausage, cherry tomato, spinach and fior de latte. This was a light and tasty pizza, created with simple toppings. The bite size bits of pork sausage worked well to create a proportional intensity of taste. Cherry tomato and spinach give that small element of freshness; and the cheeses just tie it all together.
On top of the mains, Stacky and I also ordered a side of the handout chips with rosemary.
Overall 14.5/20 I walked out happy and content. The pizzas were good and I would happily go back for a revisit. It was good to see squid ink on the menu, besides the lack of salt it was very enjoyable.