It’s been a while since I visited Mezzo, an understated restaurant which doesn’t grab the big headlines (well, it’s not Mexican or a food truck) but just quietly goes about serving good quality Sicilian-influenced food at reasonable prices in classy but still relaxed surroundings.

However, a workday lunch date at the Paris end of town provided a good reason to try their $30 two course Express Lunch menu (it is also a pre-theatre menu between 5- 7pm). You can choose an entrée and main or main and dessert but given Mezzo’s reputation in their pasta and signature tiramisu our party of three all ordered exactly the same thing – trofie with veal and pork bolognese and a tiramisu to finish.

Three shallow bowls of pasta arrived pronto and steaming with fragrant ragu. The tiny twists captured and absorbed the sauce well though I think I preferred the previous incarnation of a similar dish –  cavatelli with meatballs and pecorino sauce. While the serving size didn’t look very big it was sufficiently filling especially when paired with the generous portion of dessert we were given.

The tiramisu was a very sweet, light version of the classic Italian dessert. It could have done with less cocoa dusting the top (easy to choke if you get it down the wrong way, as we discovered) but otherwise faultless if you like your tiramisu sweet, with only a faint hint of espresso and not very alcoholic.

Mezzo doesn’t set off any fireworks but it is somewhere you know you’ll enjoy a good meal with friendly service and the damage to your wallet won’t be bad at all. Put it on your list of reliable favourites.

Mezzo Bar and Grill, 35 Little Bourke St, Melbourne +61 3 9650 0988

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