Just last week I discovered that tucked in behind a lurid kebab shop on Smith St is the other-worldly Felice’s. The retro wood panelling and black laminex bar is reminiscent of an old-fashioned Italian social club, while interesting touches such as the giant model aeroplane suspended from the carved ceiling take the cafe out of the 50s and into contemporary Fitzroy.
The vibe inside is homely and friendly. Friends gather around big tables (or the table football), families with young kids tuck into pasta and pizza and regulars slide themselves onto a bar stool and share some banter with the staff.
L and I met there for a late lunch. The one-page menu is mostly bread or meat based – pizza al taglio, calzone, foccacia, fusilli with polpette, sausages, with the odd salad here and there. We ordered a slice of pizza with olives and boccocini ($5.50) and a ham and mozzarella calzone ($6.50). We had hoped to try some blood orange juice too, but it was sold out by 2pm.
Our food came out promptly, without fanfare. The pizza was delicious, with simple yet punchy flavours and a lovely soft base. The calzone unfortunately was not a worthy match and the dry crust suffered from the reheating.
For dessert we tried a slice of the delicious-looking baked ricotta tart and the last of the miniature chocolate cannoli. The ricotta tart was nice, not to sweet, but best shared, as it was quite dense. The cannoli’s pastry was also dense, and filled with a rather tasteless chocolate custard. I think it’d just been pulled out of the fridge and that fridge-chill made the pastry quite disappointing.
L and I debated whether Felice’s was HOT or NOT. I didn’t love all the food at Felice’s but I did love the atmosphere and the fit-out. I will return to try some other items on the menu and to go back for a slice of their delicious pizza, so for that they scrape a HOT. Given my experience, I would suggest that you time your visit earlier in the day too so as to ensure you can order the dishes that you want with a better chance of freshness.
Felice’s, 141 Greeves St, Fitzroy +61 3 9939 6267