Cook & Norman Trattoria, Flinders

Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats around the country right now: Cook & Norman Trattoria, Flinders.

There's no shortage of good dining options on the Mornington Peninsula, particularly for restaurant fans. Pickings are slimmer for those looking for the kind of mid-range place that Melbourne does so well - relaxed, flexible and quality obsessed. Enter Cook & Norman, a new trattoria on Flinders' main drag owned by the folk behind Dromana Estate's restaurant, Terre. Clinton Trevisi and husband-and-wife chef partners Janine and Rowan Herrald take the trattoria brief seriously. The menu keeps it compact (five appetisers, five pasta/risotti, two main courses, four desserts), simple and, where possible, local. Pasta is all handmade and might include a very good, correct spaghetti carbonara (cheese, pepper, yolk, pancetta, definitely no cream) or a chestnut pappardelle tossed with local wild mushrooms, garlic and thyme. The risotto, a prawn, pancetta and pea number, is expertly cooked and there are good versions of classics such as carpaccio, vitello tonnato, panna cotta and tiramisù. Add a cute little one-page wine list, a well-priced mix of Mornington Peninsula and Italian labels, and a simply outfitted, light-splashed room and it's no wonder locals and blow-ins alike are already flocking.

Cook & Norman Trattoria, shop 1, 52 Cook St, Flinders, Vic, (03) 5989 0119

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