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We all know that Lygon St is home to many of Melbourne’s top Italian restaurants, but there’s one restaurant that stands out as the absolute best when it comes to a particular Italian dish… Spoiler alert: the restaurant is obviously Trotters, but you’ll need to read on to discover the dish!
My first visit to Trotters took place a few years earlier with fellow lab members in celebration of JP’s wedding. Upon first hearing the name of the restaurant, I had my fingers and toes crossed that we weren’t going to be served trotters and various cuts of meats… I was relieved to see no signs of trotters on the menu! Skipping forward three years to present day, I returned to the restaurant with K following her raving review of this one particular dish ‘it-that-must-not-be-named-yet’.
Drum roll… Are you ready to see the dish that has been enjoyed by many, is often referred to as one of Trotter’s signature dishes, and still haunts my taste buds to this very day?
Gnocchi - house-made pan-fried gnocchi, with roasted butternut pumpkin, baby spinach and pine nuts, drizzled with burnt sage butter.
… gnocchi! Hmmm, well that seemed a little anti-climatic but I can assure you that this won’t be the case when you try that first bite of melt-in-your-mouth gnocchi. The fluffy pieces of gnocchi were consistently smooth in texture and not dense or heavy like the typical gnocchi dishes I have tried to date. The fried pumpkin pieces were sweet while the sprinkling of melted cheese added a salty and aromatic element. Even more flavoursome yet was the burnt sage butter and crisp pieces of fried sage, forgoing the need for sauce. All the ingredients worked perfectly together - I even enjoyed the pine nuts, which added a gentle crunch. The dish was, without a doubt, the best gnocchi dish I have tried to date and one of the tastiest dishes I have tried in 2013!
Toasted spelt piadina - chicken, tomato, taleggio, oregano & pesto.
The piadina wrap was offered as part of their special lunch menu on that particular day. (The menus actually change THAT frequently - I requested to look at the menu at 3pm and was told that they had already been thrown out!) The toasted wrap wasn’t bad but it paled in comparison to the heights reached by the pumpkin gnocchi. The toasted areas were quite firm and added great crunch to each bite. I found the taleggio cheese unpleasantly strong, with its taste even overpowering the pesto and oregano! I ended up scraping most of the melted cheese off, and while I could still detect traces of its flavour remaining on the tender pieces of chicken, it was at least tolerable.
I found myself in a position similar to K in the weeks following our visit to Trotters, raving on about the pumpkin gnocchi to anyone who would listen. Not surprisingly, the gnocchi dish had also been ordered/tasted by those who had been before, and they too had only glowing reviews. While three years had elapsed between my last and previous visits to Trotters, I’m pretty sure that this will no longer be the case after tasting the best gnocchi dish in all of
Lygon St Melbourne and beyond.
400 Lygon St,
Carlton, Victoria, 3053
(03) 9347 5657