Mezzo Bar & Grill

Mezzo Bar & Grill
35 Little Bourke Street
Melbourne  VIC  3000
03 9650 0988
Open: Lunch  Mon – Fri  12 – 2:30pm;   Dinner Mon – Sat  from 5pm

Ahhhh… the joys of booking restaurants through Dimmi!  Once you’ve booked eight times, you get a $50 voucher – which can be used at a couple of Melbourne restaurants, including the wonderful Mezzo (Bottega being the only other CBD restaurant, and Bopha Devi being the next closest in Docklands).

Why is Mezzo so wonderful…?  The food is consistent, the ambience is lovely, service is good, and the cocktails are great (try the il Sorisso).  So, voucher in hand – Andrew and I booked ourselves in for a quick dinner one night.

Skewers of prawn and pork belly, capsicum and red onion salsa

I started with the prawn and pork belly – this was actually a really lovely dish, although a surprising combination.  I really enjoyed it, the prawns were perfectly cooked, the pork had just the right amount of yielding fat, and the salsa was a good complement to the meat.  My only suggestion – I don’t think it needs to be on skewers. You could just mound this up on a dish and it would be fine. The skewers actually detract a little from the dish, and they seem a bit contrived. Just drop them I say!

Braised ‘sher’ wagyu meatballs, herbed polenta

Andrew enjoyed the wagyu meatballs – although I’m not sure if you need that high quality meat for meatballs – I’d think the benefit would largely be lost.  However, he did seem to enjoy them – and the polenta chips were a nice touch.

Pan-fried snapper fillet, fennel, orange & mint salad, red pesto

For my main, I had the snapper – and it was brilliant. A relatively light meal from the menu, it was perfect after the prawn and pork entrée.  The snapper was firm, yet moist; and the salad was lively, fresh and aromatic – just the way I like it!  The red pesto sauce added a nice bit of acidity and was smooth and luscious. Overall, this was a really delightful dish that sated me perfectly.

Angus dry aged eye fillet 220gr, roasted potatoes, caramelised shallots

Now, Andrew is an eye fillet man – but he’s also a potatoes and onions kind of man. So, imagine his dilemma when the menu offered eye fillet with spinach and a braised oxtail galette OR rib eye with potatoes and shallots.  Easy – just ask for the eye fillet with the sides for the rib eye.  Silvio, Mezzo’s restaurant manager, said: Not a problem at all!  You’ve gotta love service like that! And the steak was lovely – juicy, fresh, cooked perfectly to order, and great sides!

Our evening out turned into a bit longer affair than we expected, as we fell in talking to Chris, a travelling wine rep from Sheer Drop Wines, who had taken the table next to us for a quick dinner.  One thing led to another, and we were enjoying ourselves so much, that Chris bought an extra bottle of wine – and twisting our arms – insisted that we help him finish it!!  So, our quick dinner turned into quite a convivial and lengthier evening out with a fun twist.

Overall, Mezzo is a great, reliable and quality place to enjoy some food, some wine and some good company.  If you’re with a bunch of friends – the sharing menu is a brilliant option (I’ve had some really good feedback on it, but haven’t tried it myself).  The staff are friendly and down to earth, and there’s a spirit of generosity to the place – especially if you order the tiramisu (see my earlier review, including the tiramisu, here).  It’s also great for the theatre crowd, with a special pre-theatre menu.   All-in-all, it’s a crowd pleaser and you can’t really go too far wrong.  Buon appetito!

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