It’s 4.38am. My mouth is dry. My head is sore and I have hangover insomnia (as I call it). Last night I dropped in for a quick bowl of pasta at the new Bar di Stasio. And that’s where I went wrong. There has never been any such thing as a quick bowl of pasta at Cafe di Stasio nor will there ever be such as thing at Bar di Stasio, which last week celebrated its 25th year. I know that about half of you out there are gong to disagree with me here as di Stasio is the kind of place that polarizes people. Even before I’d met (and I should declare been watered) by Ronnie di Stasio or Mallory Wall (pictured at the bar above) I was a big fan of the restaurant. And for me it just gets better by the visit. It’s starts off with the set lunch which I remember as far back as $15 for two courses and a glass of wine. It’s now $35 but you will never get out of there without a mugging by the charm of restaurant’s old school Italian waiters complete in their white jackets, black bowties and, sometimes, dyed black hair. It’s insidious. Perhaps it starts with a glass on impeccably presented Campari ($13). An Aperol Spritz ($15). Or maybe a prosecco ($11). Kerching! Watch out for the bottled water. And that second glass of wine. The caffè corretto (espresso with a shot of grappa) is mandatory. $35 is now $75. And I’ve started drinking so I have to finish off as much as I can from the bar. In possible the most aesthetically designed bar I’ve ever been too – a collaboration between Ronnie, architects and artists – and it happened again. And since I started writing this post it has happened again and again. And again. I sat at the monolithic marble bar imported in two slabs (from Sicily as is the original bar next door) and sealed together in a near invisible paper thin seam. Behind me over the entrance is a fire engine red Callum Mortan sculpture appearing to give structural integrity to the single fronted space. The pale rendered walls are finished to a polish with no addition of paint. It’s just expensive detail in a solid brick and plaster wall. It makes for quality and solidity. It gives you the feeling that… Read more »
Posts Categorized: Bars & pubs
The view alone is worth it at the new Vue de Monde. Photo: Adriane Strampp In case you hadn’t heard,Lui Bar at Shannon Bennett’s new Vue de Monde at the top of The Rialto is open to all comers. And it is not only worth it for the drinks but the vue (view geddit?) of the traffic streaming through Melbourne at night. The attention to detail and the levels of service at Lui Bar are unmatched in Australia. First you approach the receptionist, who communicates with the bar via FBI-stle earpiece and microphone, at the foot of The Rialto Tower. Your name is taken, my name recognised as having visited Vue de Monde before, and I’m sent to the bar to be met at the top level with a gleaming block of ice sitting on the bar at the entrance. I slipped into a dry martini and was clocked by Rocco Esposito who I’d been talking with on Twitter. Meanwhile, Adriane dives into the Negroni, which comes with a single cube of the venue’s amazing clear ice and almonds sugared with Campari. There are plenty of snacks for the hungry. Last night beef stew and Poire Belle-Hélène was the special. Or you could have chosen from Chicken Noodle Soup, Roadkill terrine, French onion soup chips, Moonlight Bay Oysters or ham and cheese toasties. If you can’t afford the full Vue de Monde experience, then it’s worth a trip here.