Carmine’s Bistro

Carmines Bistro - Street view

Carmine’s Bistro – Street view

Lygon street in Carlton is the heart of Italian dining in Melbourne. And Carmine’s Bistro is one that stands out for creating authentic Italian dishes with a modern twist. The meals are exciting and innovative and most of all they are damn tasty.

Carmine's Bistro - Venue

Carmine’s Bistro – Venue

As you walk in there are beautifully set tables with big posters on the wall, quirky lamps and book shelves. It has a warm inviting atmosphere with lots of character.

Carmine's Bistro - Horse lamp

Carmine’s Bistro – Horse lamp

Loving this horse lamp. I love lamp.

Carmines Bistro - Carlton

Carmine’s Bistro – Carlton

They have an a la cart menu or you can select the ‘feed me’ option which is where they serve you a banquet of their favourite dishes. And believe me when they say they’ll feed you, they absolutely mean it. We had the ‘feed me’ option and I was literally feeling full until dinner time the next day. As the food comes out it’s exciting because you don’t know what’s next, and the food is fab so you can trust the chef will look after you.

Carmine's Bistro - Mozarella mousse

Carmine’s Bistro – Mozarella mousse

First up we had the mozerella mousse, which was delicious. The mousse was smooth and cheesy, topped with tomato and house made green olive oil. The Italian colours and flavours presented in a modern style starter was a great first impression.

Carmine's Bistro - Bruchetta

Carmine’s Bistro – Bruchetta

Next an array of assorted bruschetta served on a wooden board. There was anchiovy, capsicum and goats cheese, roasted zuchinni and eggplant, procuitto and bococcini and tomato with oregano and olive oil all on thick slices of ciabatta bread. They were nice flavour combos and a great accompaniment to a glass of wine or two. We had a really yummy pinot grigio.

Carmine's Bistro - Mushroom capaccino w onion donut

Carmine’s Bistro – Mushroom capaccino w onion donut

The mushroom cappuccino and onion donut was was like wow creative. The cappuccino was a shot of mushroom puree, which had a nice bitter taste (like coffee) with foam on top. The onion donut was a cheesey onion filling shaped like a donut, covered in bread crumbs and deep fried. They were a good pair.

Carmines Bistro - Lamb lollipops

Carmine’s Bistro – Lamb lollipops

The lamb lollipops were fun to eat. It was a lamb and pistachio meatball on a stick sitting on top of a shot of sambucca cream.

Carmines Bistro - Lamb lollipops w sambucca cream shots

Carmine’s Bistro – Lamb lollipops w sambucca cream shots

The sambucca cream was a beautiful creamy shot (not at all like an actual sambucca shot) with a very subtle sambucca flavour that complimented the meatball perfectly. The pistachio in the meatball was a great addition especially for textural value.

Carmine's Bistro - Scallops w lemon sauce

Carmine’s Bistro – Scallops w lemon sauce

The scallops were amazing. Perfectly seared and drizzled with a creamy lemon sauce and their house made green olive oil. Those scallops! Simple and stunning. It was served with some cubes of bread, which is just what you need to soak up every drop of that wonderful sauce.

Carmine's Bistro - Beef carpaccio

Carmine’s Bistro – Beef carpaccio

The beef carpaccio looked like a little garden, pretty like a picture. The beef was thinly sliced and had a soft smooth texture (sort of like sliced salmon). The beef was covered with an arrangement of sliced olives, fresh tomato and little lettuce leaves, with spots of creamy aioli, sharp parmesan, crushed almonds and rounded off with the zest of grated lime rind. It was magnificent. A beautiful balance of flavours and textures. Spring on a plate I call it.

Carmine's Bistro - Celeriac lasagne

Carmine’s Bistro – Celeriac lasagne

Celeriac lasagna was the next dish and was a fantastic idea executed well. The lasagna sheets were crispy layers of fried celeriac with a smooth celeriac puree in between each layer. It was served with tiny cubes of sautéed celeriac and had deep-fried celeriac strands placed on top. If you’re a celeriac fan (and I am), it’s safe to assume you will love this dish (and I did). It was served with a tasty mushroom consommé.

Carmine's Bistro - Chicken ravioli

Carmine’s Bistro – Chicken ravioli

The handmade ravioli was filled with chicken and had flavours of port. It was served with parsnip puree, charred cherry tomatoes and crispy fried basil. Yum!

Carmine's Bistro - Chicken cacciatore

Carmine’s Bistro – Chicken cacciatore

The chicken cacciatore was packed with flavour. It was cooked like a chicken roulade with a lovely nutty herb stuffing and the chicken skin was golden brown. It was served with a light buffalo mozzerella mousse and a tomato based sauce with potatoes and spring onions.

Carmine's Bistro - Nutella pizza

Carmine’s Bistro – Nutella pizza

And just when we thought we couldn’t eat anymore we had one more dish. A sweet one, a nutella pizza. It was a thin sweet pizza base covered in a thick layer of nutella topped with strawberries, a donut and vanilla icecream. It was decadent.

Carmine's Bistro - Coffee

Carmine’s Bistro – Coffee

And lastly coffee.

At Carmine’s they embrace all the flavour and heartiness of Italian homestyle cooking and present it in an exciting and inspiring way. The staff were friendly and made us feel right at home. I loved the ‘feed me’ option, it was an absolute feast. They delivered exciting renditions on authentic Italian classics.

I heart Carmine’s Bistro!

Olives x

Carmine’s Bistro
Address: 234 Lygon St, Carlton VIC 3053
Phone: 03 9663 3151
Trading Hours: Mon-Sun: 12pm-10pm everyday

Carmine's Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Note: Olive Sundays was invited as a guest to Carmine’s Bistro.


The Vertue of the coffee drink

The vertue of the coffee drink - Street view

The vertue of the coffee drink – Street view

Finding this place is an adventure in itself. We walked down past the petrol station and I was almost certain we were not in the right place, but then we saw a sign that said coffee with a finger pointing left. We turned left and sure enough there was two big doors with an old English lamp above the entrance. Step one complete. We found the place.

The vertue of the coffee drink - Venue

The vertue of the coffee drink – Venue

For some reason because it was a somewhat hidden location I thought it would be a really small place but I was wrong. It was spacious with high ceilings with a coffee bar with a glass cabinet of delectable sweets and an open restaurant eating area.

The vertue of the coffee drink - Coffee grinder

The vertue of the coffee drink – Coffee grinder

In the centre of the space was a gigantic coffee-grinding contraption. When you see that beast of a machine, you know you’re in for a good coffee.

The vertue of the coffee drink - Mmm coffee

The vertue of the coffee drink – Mmm coffee

Step two we ordered coffee. And as expected it was delicious.

The vertue of the coffee drink - more coffee

The vertue of the coffee drink – more coffee

More coffee.

The vertue of the coffee drink - Scotch egg

The vertue of the coffee drink – Scotch egg

The scotch egg was delicious. It was soft with a crunchy crumb, sitting on a bed of onion marmalade, which added sweetness. There was a slice of pork cotechino, which is like an Italian charcuterie meat, which was lovely with the sour of the caper berries and the piccalilli (pickled veg relish) mayonnaise which was a bright yellow sauce. Then there was the light and crunchy pig skin cracker, and toasted brioche soldiers, which were soft with a lightly toasted outside.

The vertue of the coffee drink - Smoked ocean trout

The vertue of the coffee drink – Smoked ocean trout

We also tried the smoked ocean trout, which was cooked to perfection and had a really strong smokey flavour. It was great. The curried arancini were so yum I could have eaten a whole plate of them. There was a silky yoghurt dressing, a creamy soft duck egg and a sticky sweet mango and chilli jam. The flavours together were interesting and delicious.

The vertue of the coffee drink - Mad as a hatter chai w soy

The vertue of the coffee drink – Mad as a hatter chai w soy

Their ‘mad as a hatter chai w soy’ had a strong spicy flavour, which was lovely. It was served in this exquisite copper pot with a long golden handle. Very cute. And if you want a chai but need a dose of caffeine, you can order the ‘dirty chai with a shot of espresso.’

The vertue of the coffee drink - sweets

The vertue of the coffee drink – sweets

They have the perfect selection of baked goods to go with their exceptional coffee. The big round cookie was deliciously crumbly and shortbreadesque. And it had big badass chocolate chunks throughout. We got a salted caramel butterbing cookie sandwich, which was absolutely delicious. It was a deliciously rich chocolate cookie sandwich with the perfect balance of crunch, chew and crumble with a smooth salted caramel filling. They had kwak scrolls, the cinnamon ones, which were incredible. I was covered in icing sugar and I did not give a care. I was blissfully unaware of my surroundings they were so yum.

The vertue of the coffee drink - Max n the Portugese tart

The vertue of the coffee drink – Max n the Portugese tart

Max was loving the Portuguese tart. It was really good.

The vertue of the coffee drink has lots of character and a quirkiness about it, which is also reflected in the meals they create. The meals are inventive and unique and mouth-wateringly delicious. The staff were really lovely which added to its charm. It is definitely worth tracking this place down for some great coffee and a whimsical brunch adventure.

I heart The Vertue Of The Coffee Drink!

Olives x

The Vertue of the coffee drink
Address: 8 Raffa Place, Carlton VIC 3053
Phone: 03 8060 6987
Trading Hours: Mon-Fri: 7am-4pm, Sat-Sun: 7.3-am-4pm

Click to add a blog post for The Vertue of the Coffee Drink on Zomato