Cafe Di Stasio

Cafe Di Stasio

31 Fitzroy Street  –  St Kilda  –  Vic 3182  –  (03) 9525 3999

I have many happy memories from Cafe Di Stasio, and that was before I left Melbourne to live overseas in 1995.  Although only visiting Melbourne for two weeks, Cafe Di Stasio was an obligatory visit during this quick Melbourne foodie marathon.
dining room
Rinaldo Di Stasio opened “Café di Stasio” in Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, in 1988, and I was happy to discover it’s still a ‘sicurezza’ for Italian fine dining.  While many other restaurants I once frequented on Fitzroy St. have long gone, Cafe Di Stasio not only remains and survives, but it does so maintaining it’s above excellent standard for food and service.  I obviously was not disappointed returning to Cafe Di Stasio, and  the new addition of Bar Di Stasio means you can have a pre-dinner drink, after dinner ‘digestivo’, or just visit for a very classy aperitivo, and be tempted by the bar menu.  My first visit was to the bar, then I returned a week later to enjoy the lunch menu.
The dining room at Di Stasio is intimate and elegant, but certainly not stuffy.  The waiters are pure professionals, looking like something from an old Dean Martin movie in their white jackets with an attention to service that makes every patron feel like a VIP guest.
I started with an entree size of the Matagliati di Pane con Calamari. This was delicate & delicious, and the the perfect size if you plan on having a main and maybe even dessert.  I followed the matagliati with the fish – ‘Pesce del Giorno’.  It was on this plate that Cafe Di Stasio demonstrates what makes the difference between a good restaurant and an excellent restaurant.  It’s the attention to detail, the ‘little things’ such as the lemon half wrapped in cheesecloth to avoid any pips escaping,  that have me completely in love with this place. I accompanied the fish with the sautèed broccolini with garlic, anchovies & chilli. They were cooked to al dente perfection, and tasted so good that I was reluctant to share.
We finished lunch with Millefoglie con Mele – Vanilla cream & apple caramelized with calvados in between thin layers of pastry.  This was surprisingly light, and I finished lunch feeling satiated without feeling overly full.Cafe Di Stasio isn’t cheap, but it surely has to be one of Melbourne’s best fine dining Italian restaurants that remains ‘fidele’ to Italian flavours and traditions. Nothing is by chance, and if I choose to eat ‘Italiano’ when I visit Melbourne for two weeks, Cafe Di Stasio will always be one of my favourites.