The team from Cicciolina in St Kilda opened Ilona Staller on last Tuesday night. Ilona Staller is the real name of Cicciolina, the Italian politician, porn star and siren who shook things up in the Italian parliament by boldly and quite overtly being herself. She was also married to artist Jeff Koons. The owners of Cicc (as it is affectionately known), Lisa Carrodus, Barbara Dight and chef Virginia Redmond are also well-respected in the industry for doing their own thing and being themselves and this is indicative when Carrodus is asked what the plan is for Ilona, “She’s a work in progress, we’re just going to see how it goes.”

Set up on Carlisle Street, where good, solid food choices are a little light on the ground, Ilona Staller is focused on locals, “We want local people,” say Carrodus, “we’ll go with what they want but this is an easy place where there’s no difference in bar or restaurant, you can sit where you like and just stop by for a drink or a bowl of pasta on the way home. We’re about locals at Cicc and want to be for locals here.”

70 seats have opened downstairs in the building with a menu that consists of share-plates, entrees, a pasta section of a least eight pastas as well as main courses and lots of side dishes. There’s a great feeling to the place and room to take it upstairs too, but they’re not giving it away all at once.

Ilona Staller
282-284 Carlisle Street, Balaclava
(03) 9534 0488

Daily midday-11pm