Cafe di Stasio

I don’t want the restaurant reviews here on Gourmet Chick just to be about what’s brand new and shiny in Melbourne.  Of course I’m still keen to check out places like Nama Nama as soon as they open but I also think there’s room on here to write about some of Melbourne’s classic restaurants that have been favourites for years.  One of those places is Cafe di Stasio, a genuine St Kilda icon.

Crumbed scallops

Cafe di Stasio has been open for almost 25 years now, right in the middle of the cheap and tacky burger joints and bars on Fitzroy street it stands out for its sheer classiness.  There’s stiff white table cloths and white jacketed waiters but the mood is more celebratory than stuffy in the dark and cosy little restaurant.  It’s a perfect date night venue for me and MTV.

Spaghetti with crab

The menu is classic Italian with some modern touches.  A trio of fat, lightly tanned scallops ($29) have been oven baked in their shells and given some crunch with a topping of bread crumbs, parmesan and parsley.  A tangle of spaghetti ($29) is flecked with parsley and slivers of fresh crab meat and slick with a buttery sauce.

Veal escalope

The butter is back in the form of a golden puddle surrounding the pan fried escalope of veal ($39).  It’s a bit too butter heavy for my tastes but the meat is tender and I love of the accompaniments of prosciutto, sage and three squat little cylinders of fluffy semolina gnocchi.  A better dish is the evening’s special of eye fillet steak ($44) a piece of expertly aged, flavourful and exquisitely prepared prime beef.  It’s a really thick cut of meat but it’s perfectly pink all the way through and comes wrapped in prosciutto and topped with a crust of pesto and breadcrumbs.

Fillet steak

There are only a few desserts on offer but the mille foglie con mela ($17) doesn’t disappoint with its delicate layers of pastry and cream.

Mille foglie con mela

As you might expect the wine list is strong on Italian and Australian wines (including some bottles from Di Stasio’s own vineyard).  It’s a lengthy list but it is expensive, there isn’t much around the $50 mark and the rich, hearty bottle of Punt Road Shiraz ($69) we had was one of the cheapest bottles on offer.  Prices may be falling at Cafe di Stasio in the future though as the restaurant is closing in September for renovations which will extend it and give the restaurant a more casual feel.  Go now for the classic Cafe di Stasio experience of classic Italian food with impeccable service.

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Details: Cafe di Stasio, 31 Fitzroy street, St Kilda (Ph +61 3 9525 3999)
Damage: $236 for two.

Café Di Stasio on Urbanspoon


  1. Love how it looks, simple and honest, the way it should be! Hopefully will get a visit before it closes up to re-dress!

  2. OMG that is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much butter going on there! I think I just had a heart attack 😛

  3. The most awesome looking crabs..Really it’s watering my mouth…yummmy

  4. The 1st 2 dishes look absolutely amazing!

  5. Yum. Can’t beat spaghetti with crab. Dessert looks lovely too.

  6. Love the idea of visiting the classics. For great restaurants to persist, people need to go back…

  7. Ahhh I haven’t been back for a while.. did you get the funny old waiter that reminds me of a butler? He just shows up knowing what to do just as you need him!

  8. Every time I see someone talk about pasta I want to eat pasta. That spaghetti with crab looks AWESOME!

  9. Ashley – I agree, Italian food is at its best at its most simple.

    Shellie – Yes I think the veal had too much butter for me, I do love butter but even I draw a line sometimes.

    Good Food – Who doesn’t love some crab?

    Andi – They were indeed.

    Helen – Such a good combination, and yes dessert was good.

    Tori – Yes we need to support the classic places as well as the shiny and new

    MsIHua – Yes our waiter was a bit like that!

    Catty – I am susceptible to that sort of peer pressure as well…

  10. The spaghetti with crab looks delicious!

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