So it was getting late on Saturday night and nobody felt like cooking. We had Asian food not long ago and didn’t really feel like ordinary take-away once again. A quick discussion about cuisines and venues led us to a restaurant we passed on the way home that afternoon. Lipari Bistro is a small Italian restaurant amongst a group of shops on Canterbury Road in Heathmont we had been looking to try for quite some time now since moving into the neighbourhood. Also, I recently purchased a new DSLR camera and I was especially keen to try it out.
One great thing about restaurants such as this one in the outer suburbs is proximity. Now, if you lived somewhere east of Melbourne you would be fine with that however if you lived say in St Albans, all the way west of the city, you would probably disagree. Well Lipari Bistro was a brisk 5 minute drive from where we lived; in itself already a plus in my books. The restaurant inside is what I would term a little tired looking but charming; the simple decor looks like it has been set that way since the beginning. There is a bar in one corner and a small inviting fireplace in the centre. We were comfortable and relaxed as we were led to our table by our waiter.
After a quick glance at the menu, we placed our order with our attentive waiter. For entrée, we had a gourmet pizza and trio of dips. The pizza was called El Greco. It was topped with goats cheese, spinach and pieces of lamb (the Greco side of it). I thought the pieces of lamb were a little thick and found them a little chewy. The rest of the pizza however was good. Very good. Now, I should explain that I normally like my pizza thick with lots of topping and cheese. It’s not very Italian but then neither am I. The pizza served on our table was thin and a bit light on the topping. The crust had a nice crunch to it and yet was fluffy. Apparently that’s the way real Italians eat their pizzas and who am I to disagree. The trio of dips was a plate that funnily enough had three dips and some turkish bread sliced and lightly toasted. The dips were eggplant, capsicum and homus. The toasted bread was the best part of this dish; lightly crunchy, soft in the middle and it smelled delicious. After our entrees, we waited eagerly for our mains.
There were three of us so we ordered three mains. The first was Funghi with spaghetti. A white mushroom sauce that was thick and creamy. It had a good mushroom flavour enhanced by the pungent shredded Parmesan cheese. Next was tortellini carbonara. My pasta dish of choice, this one in particular was thick with good amounts of bacon and cheese. The rich carbonara sauce was delicious; the taste of bacon mixing well with the tortellini and cheese. My dish was further enhanced by sprinkled chilli flakes. The third main was spaghetti marinara with Napoli sauce. The red Napoli sauce was rich with seafood flavour and had an abundance of fresh seafood marinara mix in it.
Finally, we ordered one dessert course to share. House special Tiramisu. The spray can whipped cream was a bit of a let down but other than that, the actual cake itself was very good. It’s not the best Tiramisu I’ve had however it’s far from the worst. Lipari Bistro is not the kind of restaurant that you would host large dinner parties in however it’s a good cut above pizza takeaways and franchised Italian restaurants and is always there if you’re after a good feed. None of us had any complaints with our meal. In fact, we thought the food served was great value. Genuinely authentic Italian cuisine close to home with a family atmosphere.