Review: Tazio Birraria Pizzeria & Cucina, Melbourne CBD

The opinions put forth in this blog entry may not accurately represent the actual quality or experience on the night. My judgement that evening was very much clouded by the fact that I had almost fainted on the street ten minutes earlier after donating plasma and not sufficiently increasing my blood sugar levels afterwards. I was lucky that K was with me at the time and was able to move me over to a seat and give me water and chocolate until I felt a bit more like myself.

It was a particularly anomalous event as I had no adverse reactions to the previous 24 plasma donations I’d done.  Still, note to self, from now on always make sure to sit down for fifteen minutes after a plasma donation and eat a chocolate muffin and drink a juice box before walking away!

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So to say that I felt a little worse-for-wear when we sat down for our meal at Tazio Birraria Pizzeria & Cucina would be somewhat of an understatement! Luckily the restaurant wasn’t that full given that it was a Monday night, and the other four groups of diners barely gave my pale and sweaty visage a second look.

Safe Sex on the Beach (peach nectar, blood orange juice, pineapple juice and cranberry juice with a touch of grenadine served on the rocks), $9.50 AUD
Safe Sex on the Beach, $9.50 AUD

To keep my sugar levels up, I ordered a Safe Sex on the Beach mocktail of peach nectar, blood orange juice, pineapple juice and cranberry juice with a touch of grenadine. The mocktail did what I intended it to do, keeping me hydrated, sugared, and coherent. In hindsight though, I wish that it had an extra element as a mocktail rather than a simple juice blend – a herb or chilli infusion perhaps?

Lamb ragu with pappardelle pasta and parmesan, $26 AUD
Lamb ragu with pappardelle pasta and parmesan, $26 AUD

The menu at Tazio isn’t large – with fewer than ten or fifteen options for main meals, it differs from other Italian restaurants by not offering a dozen pasta options, a dozen pizza options, and a dozen ‘other main’ options. It gives you the confidence that what they offer is the very best of their repertoire as they’re not spreading themselves too thin.

The smaller menu certainly made it easier for me to choose my dinner given my then-limited cognitive abilities. Carbs. It was all about carbs. The pasta it was – Lamb Ragu with Pappardelle Pasta and Parmesan. This was very simple, with a rich and buttery sauce, tender lamb pieces, flavourful parmesan, and freshly cooked pappardelle pasta. It really hit the spot on that particular evening but I would actually find it a tad too rich on any other night.

300gm scotch fillet steak with roasted rosemary potatoes, baby carrots, green beans and jus, $35 AUD
300gm scotch fillet steak with roasted rosemary potatoes, baby carrots, green beans and jus, $35 AUD

K decided to opt for their steak, a 300gm Scotch Fillet Steak with Roasted Rosemary Potatoes, Baby Carrots, Green Beans and Jus. Just the way a steak dinner should be, with extremely crispy and crunchy potatoes and fresh green beans with a real snap to them. The only disappointing element was that the K had ordered the steak to be cooked medium but it came out as medium-well. Still satisfying, but in a different way.

We made the most of a Buy-One-Main-Get-One-Free deal I had through my Entertainment Book membership, leaving us with a $45 dinner bill for two. At that price, a meal at Tazio was well worth the expense. I’m not sure whether I would go back and pay full price for the meal though. As decent as the food was, there’s a dozen other excellent Italian-style restaurants in the immediate vicinity that we’re yet to try as well. Go if you have a voucher, or if you’re nearly fainting from low blood sugar and need somewhere for a quick and hearty meal!

Tazio Birraria Pizzeria & Cucina is located at 66 Flinders Lane, Melbourne.

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