Cucina di Esposito Location: 162 Elgin St, Carlton, VIC 3053 Contact: 03 9347 9838 Cucina di Esposito is all class. Nestled in Elgin Street, the suave Italian restaurant is decked out with glossy artworks, pristine white table cloths, and authentic Italian fare; a combo which has seen its owner in the business for over 20 years. We visit here on a promotion which provides us a 2 course dinner with wine for a reasonable price.
Blue swimmer crab ravioliThe entree of blue swimmer crab ravioli is by far the winner of the two, with pasta casings packed full with a gorgeous crab filling & all swimming within a creamy lobster bisque.
Calamari dusted in semolina with shaved fennel, orange and a saffron mayonnaiseMy calamari was quite similar in taste to that sampled at Saint Peter’s, though to be honest I enjoyed this one much more; it came accompanied with a delightful saffron mayonnaise to dip the calamari in, and the addition of sweet slices of orange worked well to ensure that it wasn’t a heavy dish.
Braised veal shank, soft polenta, parmesan and gremolataThe braised veal shank was quite large – a massive bone with tender meat that fell apart easily at the touch. Whilst the flavours blended well together, it was, however, a bit too fatty for our liking, which detracted a little from the dish.
Crispy duck leg with pomegranateI, however, really enjoyed my duck main – the meat was absolutely tender, with a crisp, golden skin on the outside. The rich flavour from the duck combined well with the sweet pomegranate seeds peppered around it, enabling it to cut through the heartiness of the duck meat.
Crispy duck leg with pomegranateFor a restaurant that’s been in Carlton for quite a few years now, Cucina di Esposito has undergone quite a few changes, including a complete rebranding of the restaurant (having previously been called Esposito at Toofey’s). The restaurant is as pretty as ever, opening its doors with the promise of good Italian food, accompanied by some great wines.