31A Fitzroy St, St Kilda (03) 9525 3999
If I had to pick a style of cooking that I do best, I would probably say it's Italian. It's the first style of food that I learnt how to cook and it's probably the style I understand the most. For this reason, I'm always interested to try an Italian place that makes great, authentic food. I'd heard a lot about Cafe Di Stasio for a long time, but as I knew the prices there are on the higher end of the scale, I put off visiting there. That was until the other day when I had a day off work and my friend suggested we go and check out the Cafe Di Stasio Lunch special. The lunch special is your Melbourne standard two courses and a glass of wine for $30.
Di Stasio is located on St Kilda's Fitzroy Street, right in the heart of the action. From inside however, with the shutters tilted, you would be completely unaware of the hustle and bustle outside the window. The restaurants tables seem packed in to the relatively small L shaped room. The walls are stricken with horrible mime-like face masks which are used as light holders, I don't know what they were thinking!
I ordered the Spaghetti with Tuna and Tomato as an entree. The portion was extremely small, especially in comparison to the oversized bowl it was served in. The spaghetti was definately on the undercooked side of al dente and could have done with an extra minute or two on the stove.
The tuna sauce was tasty though, with just the right amount of Tomato mixed through.
For Main Course, i ordered the Chicken Cacciatore. This was a much better example of classic Italian cuisine and was actually quite delicious, however, once again, the serving was undersized and I probably should have listened to the waiter's recommendations of ordering a side dish. The chicken was tender and the sauce was rich and tasty.
The waiters at Di Stasio are the first waiters I've come across in Melbourne that wear outfits that basically look like tuxedos. It seems very over the top, especially when the service doesn't match up to their dress standards. There was no service with a smile and our empty glasses of water got about as much attention as we did.
I always think that a good lunch special is a great indication as to whether you should go back to a restaurant for dinner and pay full price. Considering the high prices at Di Stasio and the fact that they failed to impress us at lunchtime, I don't think we will be returning anytime soon. The food is very simple and iwhat we had was nothing that even someone with minimal cooking experience could cook in their own home.