• Artusi (Southgate)

I kept to the left of the footpath with the sun on my face and the bells of St Paul’s Cathedral in my ears.  I love this part of Melbourne.  The glare did not capture the details of the glass buildings and pedestrian bridges running across the Yarra, but the vibe was still there with tourists and locals alike meandering along the banks and drinking beer, or a glass of pinot gris, in the evening sun.

It was a perfect evening to be dining at Artusi, a new-comer to the Southgate scene, on the top floor closest to Swanston Street.  The space was filled with hurried diners, trying to sneak in a meal before theatre, and the staff were swept up in a hurry to serve everyone and maintain their smiles.  I was more relaxed.  I waited for a table outside and then allowed the weather to fill my mood.

Good Food Month is here again, in the lead up to the festive season, while elsewhere advocates “get your body ready for summer”, in Melbourne we are preparing by building up our capacity to indulge in fine  food and wine.

Artusi is one of the many Southgate restaurants offering a special menu for Good Food Month – a signature dish and beverage for $35.  It is the only with a vegetarian signature; capellini with pumpkin and mustard fruits accompanied by a Montevecchio Bianco from Heathcote.  I had been invited to try it.

The wine was mineral and tangy, fresh with slight acid.  It was fitting for the weather, simple and fresh.

The capellini was delicious.  The pasta was al dente and filled with smooth, pureed pumpkin.  The mustard fruits gave a sweetness being blending in so that their texture was undetected.  Amaretti crumbs gave a further sweetness which were scattered on top, soaking up the brown nut butter.  Sage was a typical addition, being fried and crisp.  It was a different and lovely take on the usual pumpkin, sage butter combination.  The serve was generous and I enjoyed each mouthful.

We strolled along the river afterwards, enjoying the street performers and balmy night.  As the evening became late, we said good bye and I caught the tram home with others, tipsy and merry, indulging in the most livable city’s lifestyle.

UR1 Upper Level
3 Southgate Ave
Southbank 3006
03 8199 1033

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