Pelligrini's has been a Melbourne institution for a thousand years. Ok, maybe not quite that long, but you get the picture. So, you have to love an icon, even if it's not necessarily the best dining we have. And realistically, as romantic as the place is, it probably isn't the best.
So what! A great experience doesn't have to be the best food, prepared by the best chefs in the best modern Australian style. Pellegrini's is a true throwback to old Italy, to the days when migrants landed in Melbourne post-war and introduced the most amazing cuisine that still infects our city today. The authenticity of the pasta and sauces are still there.
When I was growing up in the 70s, Pellegrini's also had a large restaurant which has now been taken over by one of those in the new best modern Australian style, but it still serves food at the bar and takes you back to Rome or Naples or Florence.
If you visit Melbourne, eat here. If it's for a bit of dinner or a traditional cake and coffee. Savour the experience.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.