Even with high profile siblings threatening to outshine, this Italian Baby is anywhere but the corner.
With Asian juggernaut Chin Chin as your older sibling and the hype surrounding newborn Kong, sometimes it's easy for Chris Lucas' other venture, Baby, to shrink into the shadows.
The Italian middle brainchild of one of Melbourne's most talked about restaurateurs took over the space on Church Street, Richmond early last year and has been a steady addition to the growing empire.
A blend of rustic furniture, intimate booths and a familiar touch of neon, Baby's fit out and fare are designed to share — and they've just tweaked their menu to add 13 extra dishes, as if choosing wasn't already hard enough. There's also the no bookings policy nightmare, but if you bring your friends, groups of six or more skip the queue.
Serving over 20 variations of pizzas, we recommend going for one with the housemade mozzarella. In other words: all of them. The Polpette is one of the standouts, made with creamy fior di latte (mozzarella), meatballs, juicy San Marzano tomatoes, pecorino, fresh basil and chilli ($22.50). As for the San Daniele Prosciutto with fior di latte, Reggiano, rocket and San Marzano tomatoes ($23.5) – Mamma Mia! The bases are thin and light, made with special flour from Naples to recreate traditional Italian pizza.
Baby's best rests on the element of simplicity and the spaghetti al pomodoro with tomato, chilli and Reggiano ($22.50) shines, despite the deceivingly basic ingredients. From the new menu, the bruschetta with speck, pear and gorgonzola is the only way to begin the feast. Of course, no hearty European meal should be had without a glass of wine and luckily, there's no shortage of the good stuff here.
This Baby is an early riser and if yours is too, grab a bite for breakfast starting from 7am. The devilishly handsome and attentive wait staff will wake you up better than a shot of espresso ever could and they'll be looking even better when they show you out the door at the end of the evening.
The quality of the food is undeniable; the Lucas legacy is in full flight. Nobody puts Baby in the corner.
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