This place, is an iconic Melbourne establishment's little sister. The Cellar Bar is the no frills, simple sister eatery of the famous Grossi Florentino. You walk in and you feel like you are in a little bistro in Italy. You are greeted with a friendly waiter, ready to escort you to a table or hustle you to the bar to wait.
To start we got some small tapas to share. My favourite cheese, percorino was drizzled with a bit of honey. I'm normally not a hard cheese person but I have a soft spot for percorino, especially when there is added sweetness to it.
As a bit of a balance we got the ricotta peas to feel less guilty. Sweet, buttery peas with ricotta on top.
As a entree, we got the minestrone soup to share. This came with lots of vegetables. It was nice and hearty. If you plan on getting this alone, it does not have much (if any) pasta in it, so it's not very filling.
We also got the mussels to share. This came with a tomato based broth with a bit of kick to it. It wasn't too overpowering, so the natural taste of the mussels were still in place.
I had the bolognese, and I this is one of my favourite places to get this classic. It's always so rich and meaty. I could eat this everyday.
D decided to be adventurous and get the pizzoccheri della valtellina with asiago. This was a cheese, potato, sage and cabbage pasta. Since it was baked and not too saucy, it had a much lighter taste compared to the bolognese. D got food envy after he had a taste of my bolognese.
Having skipped lunch we also go the gargenelle with spiced ragu. The ragu was slightly spicy veal sauce with strong tomato elements. It's the perfect winter dish for a hungry stomach.
For sides we got the chips to share. These are thick cut and will fill you up fast, if you are having pasta as well.
For dessert we got the bread and butter pudding. This was very heavy, so I won't recommend it after getting 3 pastas to share between 2.
The second dessert was the tiramisu, generous layers of coffee dipped sponge fingers and mascarpone. This reminded me of my time in Florence.
Overall 16/20 Cellar Bar never fails me when I'm after a no-frills, homey, traditional Italian feed. The pricing is very reasonable too, most mains/pasta are under $20. The service is attentive and always friendly.