Update: 2013 – sadly, this post is now an historic one as Giuseppe Arnaldo & Sons has closed its doors.
The essence of Melbourne can be distilled from places such as the restaurant Giuseppe Arnaldo & Sons. It is a story of family, migration, Australian farming produce, a creative vision and bloody hard work. The restaurant is named after the fathers of the two owners. From the moment you step inside the dimly lit restaurant, your senses are stimulated. There is a gold Romanesque motif on the floor, walls and ceiling of some areas, making it feel like you are in a cosy space, although the restaurant is quite large. There are walls of freshly baked bread and a funky bar. The wholesome aroma wafting from the kitchen draws your eyes towards the scene of activity there. The friendly waiters provide excellent service, and the food is divine. This is an Italian restaurant but given that Italian food has become Melbourne food, I would classify it Modern Australian with Italian inspiration! I ate raw Hervey Bay scallops for entrée, and they were a delight. The bean soup was hearty, and the fish (mullet) sublime.
This is a restaurant you go to treat yourself. The scallop entrée and the soup were each $18.70. The fish cost $35.20. There are pasta dishes on offer, and these are cheaper. Giuseppe Arnaldo & Sons is located within the Crown Casino complex. It is open daily for lunch and dinner. You can book at lunchtime, but not for dinnertime. I’ve always been able to walk in and find a seat. I tend to stretch my legs wandering along the banks of the Yarra, and enter directly from the footpath there. Perhaps that is what Nigella Lawson did when she recently dined there.