Tuesday 12 February 2008

King / Bourke Quest Part 12: Nick's Spaghetti Bar

Nick's Spaghetti Bar
556 Lonsdale St, Melbourne (map)
9606 0557

I've got a backlog of places I want to blog about, but work has been mad for the last two weeks and I haven't had the time/energy to update the blog. I've been feverishly preparing for a big complicated trial and have of late been billing the kind of hours you hear about in lawyer horror stories! I like being in the litigation "zone", but it's been taking its toll - quite a few dinners have consisted of Nando's delivered to our desks (shudder), and last night when I came home in the wee small hours of the morning I was so tired I mistakenly squirted Aesop handwash from the dispensing bottle onto my toothbrush, instead of toothpaste. Waaaah.

Well, tonight was the first weeknight in what feels like ages that I was able to get home at a reasonable hour and cook myself dinner, so I changed into a pair of tracky dacks, whipped up a quick bowl of Fusilli alla Puttanesca and watched Pane e tulipani. My Puttanesca (with a few pine nuts thrown in just for fun) was damn tasty if I do say so myself, and waaaay better than the one I had the other week at Nick's!

Nick's Spaghetti Bar

Nick's Spaghetti Bar on Lonsdale Street is (for some inexplicable reason) very popular with the solicitors and barristers swarming the Melbourne legal district. I went there with my colleague A to see what all the fuss was about... and I remain mystified. The interior of the restaurant was inoffensive enough (if you like Lygon Street trattorias), but the sleazy middle-aged waiters calling us "bella" and "darling" got on my nerves (okay, I freely admit I had a bad attitude to Nick's from the word go!).

Spaghetti alla puttanesca

Behold the incredibly underwhelming Spaghetti alla Puttanesca I was served for $17. The plate had rubbery olives and capers and (very) roughly chopped anchovies up the wazoo, and yet the tomato-based sauce STILL tasted watery. I know my Nonna's cooking makes me an automatic Italian food snob, but why people pay $17 for pasta this average is something I CANNOT understand. There's good Italian food in Melbourne (and yes, some of it is very reasonably priced), but this ain't it!

I'm pretty cranky tonight, hey? Time to catch up on some sleep! :)


Agnes said...

Handwash instead of toothpaste? Mhmm tasty! :) Hopefully work slows down for you soon!

ElegantGourmand said...

it's high way robbery what some places charge for pasta, particularly when the ingredients are so cheap!

I am somewhat of a nostalgia buff and Nick's had caught my eye, because it claimed to have been opened since the 40s (or something). I had wanted to check it out, but I probably won't now!

Mikel Ward said...

That number doesn't work. Are they still open?