Sicily is the clue to everything, wrote Goethe. It's certainly the key to Rosa's Kitchen, where the big-hearted cooking of Sicilian-born Rosa Mitchell showcases the island's vibrant brand of cucina povera. A simple trattoria tucked down a laneway (newcomer Rosa's Canteen dons more corporate livery for the legal district), it sets the dial to produce-driven comfort with dishes such as tender octopus and potato ramped up with the crunch, salt and kick of fennel, capers and chilli. Pasta is a strong suit: spaghetti alla Norma features sweet tomato sugo and roasted eggplant in a snowstorm of ricotta salata, while main courses cover the gamut of proteins from roast spatchcock and caponata to thin slices of smoked veal tongue with pickled vegetables. From a wine list that takes Mount Etna as its guiding star to the booze-soaked Marsala cannoli, Rosa's Kitchen feels deeply authentic - as if this was Messina, not Melbourne.
Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.×