Corner Hardware Lane and Lt Bourke Street, Melbourne (map)
no phone yet!
My fabulous housemate DJ emailed to alert me to a new candidate in my Quest to find great lunch spots within an easy walking distance of the King and Bourke Street intersection: "A King/Bourke lunchtime recommendation for you: Sette Bello on the north-eastern corner of Little Bourke and Hardware. Kind of like a more homely Brunetti in the CBD. Yummy pizza by the slice, cute pastries for dessert, very good coffee, delightfully kitsch decor, lots of natural light."
Sette Bello! What a great name for an Italian cafe. The settebello (pictured right) is the ultimate trump card in Scopa, my favourite Italian card game. In addition to the card's other strategic advantages, you automatically get a bonus point for playing the settebello (and, if you're playing with my brother and me, you also get a bonus point for playing the Fante di Spade card (the Jack of Swords) purely on the strength of his awesome "I have come to clean ze pool" moustache - sadly the internet is unable to provide me with a picture of the Jack of Porn for your viewing pleasure)...
But I digress. Sette Bello has only been open for a week; it doesn't yet have outside signage, business cards or a phone. The fitout and decor is pleasingly retro-futuristic: gleaming black wall tiles, marble tabletops and opulent light fittings sit alongside wicker chairs and a wood veneer communal table that reminds me of my Nonna and Nonno's 1970s kitchen prior to the 1990s renovations.
Just the other day I'd been lamenting that there was nowhere in my neck of the woods doing decent pizza al taglio (unless you count Ortigia, but they only do two kinds per day and I'm not wild about them), and then lo and behold Sette Bello arrived on the scene! As you can see, in addition to a variety of pizze there are focacce, soup, arancini and a range of yummy Italian pastries on offer.
I went there for lunch yesterday with C and A. Both C and I went for a piece of the Pancetta Pizza ($7.90 - other slices were cheaper), which included olives, ricotta and spinach. Very good - my only quibble being that the spinach looked and tasted suspiciously like frozen spinach.. if so, I hope they switch to sauteeing up fresh spinach in the future (but as they've only just opened I'll give them the benefit of the doubt).
A had the soup of the day ($7.90) - potato and leek, served with slices of toasted focaccia - and gave it the thumbs up. I rounded off the meal with an Italian-style brioche with crema and slices of apple, which was excellent. I'd already had my daily coffee, but C had a coffee and reported back that it was strong and tasted authentically Italian. I predict great things for Sette Bello! :)