Every morning, the chef and owner of Funghi e Tartufo, Alessandra D’Angelo, arrives before everyone else. She creams the pasta, mixes the meatballs, and prepares the swordfish and barramundi, all plant-based, all made with recipes she developed after moving with her two children to Australia from Palermo, Italy, in 2009.
Funghi e Tartufo is D’Angelo’s third vegan restaurant in Melbourne, named for the signature dish, a mushroom and truffle pappardelle, served at his previous venture, Osteria Italiana. That dish returns here, along with other plant-based recreations of classic Sicilian food.
You can start with some antipasti, followed by lemon and pepper squid fritti; “barramundi” in tomato sauce, capers and green olives; or spun potato gnocchi with mushroom bolognese. For dessert, it can be chocolate cheesecake or hazelnut ice cream.
The wine list is equally careful, favoring biodynamic and organic drops sourced from Italy. The cocktails are suitably Italian, meaning you can pair your pasta with a Negroni, Aperol Spritz, or amaro.
Located in a converted 19th-century warehouse on Hardware Lane, the space has more old-school charm than some of the other Italian joints in the area. Think white tablecloths, ornamental wine barrels, and a vinyl-wrapped bar that protects the wine cellar. Like any good trattoria, there’s plenty of outdoor seating to enjoy the buzz of the alley on a Saturday night.