It was worth the walk though. (^_^)
Benito's, like many good Melbourne establishments, is subtle and unpretenious. The signage is old school and walking in, you get the sense you've stepped into an old farmhouse with solid stone walls and warm woods. It would probably only seat 50 people with their leather booths and communal center bench - lending a cozy atmosphere for intimate dinners or cheery family gatherings.
But what Benito's lacks for in space, they certainly don't in their hearty Italian cuisine nor in service. Both front of staff had ready smiles that made their way into their eyes and were happy to exchange a friendly word or two - definitely the kind of guys any girl could bring home to meet the parents.
House made lasagne with pork ragu and basil pesto AUD$28
The pasta was thin and perfectly cooked the way I like it:
firm enough to hold the meat and bechamel sauce,
but soft enough to offer little resistance to the side of a fork.
Fish of the Day
Red Emperor with chickpeas, spinach and lemon
The SO's choice was glorious!
While well-done fish flesh is divine, it's the crispy skin that makes me weak in the knees.
Chocolate fondant with hazelnut marscapone AUD$13
I would probably call this a chocolate lava cake,
but since the insides didn't flow as readily, perhaps it was more like a poured fondant.
The crushed peanuts and hazelnut marscapone made delicious texture accompliments.
445 Little Collins St
Tel: +61 3 9670 5347