43 Hardware Lane, Melbourne 3000
P: 03 9670 1110
On the spur of the moment we had decided to meet up for lunch. I thought, as we'd be in the area, it would be a great opportunity to try +39. Turns out we had a little trouble finding it (or were too hungry to try very hard), so wandered up into Ciao Pizza Napoli instead. It seems that was a pretty good thing. But you know, even though they've been there since 1988, I can't say I've ever really noticed the place before. Shame on me.
The antipasto (above) was great, but hey, stick 3 different flavours of meat on my plate and I'm a happy girl. Along with the rocket, cheeses, artichoke and olives, as well as the bread we were provided, it was damn good.
There's a nice range of pizza's, ranging from the traditional Margherita, through to the more exotic Duck with Asian Greens. We decided to share a (large) pizza, so I chose half Rustica, half Artichoke. The artichoke pizza was very nice, but the rustica blew me away. Delicious. It's rare for me to get through more than 2 slizes of "pizza" from somewhere like Dominos, but I had no problem clearing away half of this baby. And I've never seen John eat that much, so it must have been good! The other dishes we saw wafting past our table also looked great - pasta's and a range of other choices.
Despite warnings from my stomach that it was in some danger of reaching critical full levels, we had a look through the dessert menu. Somehow "sharing a dessert" got turned into "one each" when the order was placed. Huh, men, they never get it right! What you see above is the baked custard with caramel sauce and poached pears. Oh yum.
I had the sticky date pudding with sticky sauce and a side of ice cream. I'm going to make a pretty big call here, and it might not be well-received by some relatives, but... this was on par with my mum's sticky date pudding, IF NOT SLIGHTLY BETTER (sorry mum). Despite my full stomach, and the huge size of this wedge of pudding, I ate the damn lot. I couldn't help it.
We're planning to go back one night for dinner. I can't wait.