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Melbourne's Most Inspirational Italian Restaurants

Mamma, mia! The most inspirational and authentic Italian restaurants in Melbourne

The great thing about Italian food is that there's pretty much always something to suit everyone on the menu. Even if half your household might be craving a pizza, that doesn't mean you all have to have one, as most Italian restaurants have a pasta selection as well, and often other meat and fish dishes too.

There are a number of beautiful Italian restaurants in Melbourne, but we want you to be able to access the best in authentic Italian cooking. Take a look at our top picks for Italian eateries that offer their diners the genuine article when it comes to Italian cuisine.

1. Fatto Bar & Cantina

At Fatto Bar & Cantina, the menu is authentic Italian but unusual in that it offers few of the mainstay Italian menu items you might be expecting. OK, lasagne may be on there, but the other main dishes are much more off-the-beaten-track than you might expect.

What the chefs at Fatto hope to do with each of their dishes is to give diners an authentic Italian meal, but made more special with their own innovative twists. Choose between, for instance, Spaghettini served with spanner crab, lemon and chilli or Gnocchi with braised rabbit, parmesan, pesto and walnuts. If you're in the mood for a pizza, our recommendation is the house special Fatto pizza. It features nduja, a Calabrian hot salami which has a soft consistency of the Potato and Garlic pizza base which comes topped with truffles, tallegio cheese and rosemary.

2. Gradi

At Gradi, the inspiration for the menu is drawn from Neapolitan cuisine, though there are other regional Italian dishes represented too. As Naples is considered to be the original home of wood-fired pizza, you'll find plenty on the menu here. There are also lots of seafood dishes, thanks to Naples' location on the Mediterranean coast of Italy.

Our top picks for pizzas at Gradi are the Napoletana, topped with San Marzano tomato and fior de latte cheese, olives, anchovies and oregano. The Frutti di Mare has the same base, but pays homage to the sea with scatterings of Queensland prawns, mussels, clams and scallops.

3. Stella Deluxe

As well as a staggering selection of pizzas to choose from, the menu at Stella Deluxe includes some regional dishes that you might not find in every Italian restaurant. Take, for example, the Spaghetti Genovese. It's not, as you might have imagined, spaghetti with pesto, but instead, it's a mix of mushrooms, pancetta, crushed olives, roasted garlic, breadcrumbs and Italian parsley. The Fusilli Tuscan showcases the fruits of the Tuscan countryside - sausage made from veal and pork, roasted garlic, onions, tomatoes and parmesan.

4. Gemma Simply Italian

At Gemma Simply Italian you'll find a wide choice of delicious Italian dishes on the menu; from antipasti through to pizzas and pasta, risottos and dolci.

The Dolci selection at Gemma Simply Italian is definitely worth looking at before you decide on what else you're ordering. You wouldn't want to miss out on desserts such as the classic Tiramisu, which is made with savoiardi, coffee and mascarpone. Can there be a more traditional taste of Italian sweetness than in a tantalising tiramisu? Well, there is also the Affogato Al Caffe - vanilla ice-cream that's soaked in an espresso and Frangelico, the Baked Ricotta Cheesecake or the Torta di Mandorle (almond cake), that comes with a shot of Vin Santo to wash it down. Order with a friend or two and you can share the desserts!

So what's for dinner in your house tonight? Make your choice for an Italian feast at Deliveroo!

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