Casa Ciuccio, 13 Gertrude St, Fitzroy

Melbourne’s inaugural Good Food Month starts today and there are some amazing events in the program (some of which have already sold out). Fasten your seatbelts and loosen your belts, there will be a lot of Good Food Month action happening on the blog in November.

Firstly, ‘Let’s Do Lunch‘. During Good Food Month weekday two-course lunches at a selection of Good Food Guide restaurants costs just $38 and includes a glass of Yalumba wine, a Coopers beer, sparkling or still mineral water, plus tea or coffee.

Casa Ciuccio, 13 Gertrude St, Fitzroy

One of the participating restaurants is Casa CiuccioBar Lourinha has stretched its arm up Spring and Nicholson Streets and embraced Gertrude Street Fitzroy with this relaxed Spanish inspired restaurant and bar. Being a Fitzroy local I’ve been to Casa Ciuccio numerous times but never blogged it until now because the dim evening light never did justice to the delicious food in photos.

Lunchtime is a different story – the sun streams in through the front windows (which open up to the street to let the breeze in) and the whole place is vibrant and airy. I love the shelves of wine, bottles and knicknacks and judicial use of greenery to bring life to the brick and tile walls.

Casa Ciuccio, 13 Gertrude St, Fitzroy

Casa Ciuccio, 13 Gertrude St, Fitzroy

For lunch you can choose any two courses from a scaled down menu of signature dishes and house specialities – a selection of house and imported charcuteria, market fish of the day, spice rubbed pork belly, a salad of couscous, coriander and almond and a dulce de leche cream pot with peanut praline.

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Being a balmy day I decided to try the mullaway with freshly podded peas, cucumber and dill cream sauce. The fish skin was gently charred and the flesh had a juicy springiness and loosened easily with a fork. The vegetable side gave the meal an interesting textural crunch.

Casa Ciuccio, 13 Gertrude St, Fitzroy

The dulce de leche cream pot is the restaurant’s most popular dessert and it’s easy to figure out why. It’s sugar on sugar – dulche de leche is usually made by heating sweetened condensed milk into a caramel and in this case it was set with cream and dust

Casa Ciuccio, 13 Gertrude St, Fitzroy

ed with broken up praline. The velvety texture of the custard was splendidly offset by the fragments of crunchy caramel and nuts.

A peppermint tea at the end was the perfect digestive aid/palate cleanser!

The set lunch menu at Casa Ciuccio is good value (when it’s not  Good Food Month it’s actually $35 as they have access to cheaper wines) and it’s impressively ‘express’ – I was in and out in about 30 minutes without feeling rushed into a state of indigestion.

Other events happening in Good Food Month in Fitzroy that I like the look of include:

Bon appetit!

Casa Ciuccio, 15 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy +61 3 848 88150

Tue-Thu: 12pm-11pm

Fri-Sat: 12pm-1am

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