Date Spots Volume 2: Cicciolina
Those of you who are true Melbournites, will surely have heard of or been to Cicciolina. But, if for some reason, you’ve been trapped under a rock or yet to venture south to this true gem of St Kilda, I’ll tell you a bit more.
It, to me, is the ultimate date place. I know peeps shy away from the pasta on a date, in case that shiz slurps all over the best duds you’ve chosen for your date and you spend the rest of your time ordering soda water and dabbing the bejeezus out of said slurp. Or, like so many today, you would NEVER be seen eating *whispers under breath* carbs on a date, cause you know chicks only eat salad *eye roll*. But you need to get over all of that, because you are bound to have a rip snorter of a time here.
I recently lady dated here after about a year and as soon as I walked in, was reminded of why I like it so much. It’s buzzing, it smells divine and everyone genuinely looks like they are relaxed and ready to settle in for multiple vinos and baskets of the delicious breads they serve up free will at all moments. It’s not pretentious, it’s not where everyone needs to be seen, but it’s undeniable great AF.
It’s cozy but not crowded, it’s relaxed. It’s buzzing, but it’s not overwhelming or so loud you need a megaphone, it’s genuinely, dare I use the word... Charming.
I ask Barb in the Cicciolina team, why she thinks it makes a great date spot. She simply and succinctly replies, “it’s busy, cozy, intimate - lots of distractions for newer daters… food fabulous, service helps break the ice!”. She’s right. They know their stuff and they like to ask you a question or two to get a conversation rolling.
Now, I am not afraid of a pasta, in fact, it evokes romantic images of me lady and the tramp style, munching up my pasta to only then pucker up with the lover on the other end, but alas, Barb reckons the blue swimmer crab soufflé with champagne veloute is the go to dish. Again, she’s not wrong. It’s the kind of dish you can ooh and ahh over and most importantly, share with an enthusiast clinking of spoons before you tuck in.
I personally dig the vongole. A delish dish which is fun to eat, using your little clam shells as a fork to pick up the rest of them, before you tuck into the fragrant pasta. A warning here, it is garlicky (I’m not a food critic) so if you are sensing a pash at the end of the eve, you might want to sneak a mint in, but by this stage you’ve probably had a few bevs and thrown caution to the wind.
Go to beverage? Defo the Prosecco! Nothing makes a date easier than a few glasses of bubbles, it’s the ultimate Dutch courage without slipping super quickly into hot mess. I am a fan of a liquid dessert, so an espresso martini here is also a sure fire hit.
Whether you go for lunch or for dinner, the atmosphere will definitely help you to feel snuggly and warm, if that doesn’t, the red wine will. If by the end of all this, you’re not feeling the vibe, the Vineyard is but a hop, skip and a jump across the road in case one needs to drown their sorrows. I doubt it though.