Stantine - you are so right on The Italian at 101 Collins St, it obviously is a big business lunch but its a beautiful restaurant and great service. I really enjoyed the meal there a month ago.
I've never had a bad meal at Il tempo on Degraves Street. They have super thin/crispy authentic Italian pizza bases, delicious bruschetta and are pretty reasonably priced too!
For something different, I like Pezzo on Flinders Lane. They have a range of tasty pizza pockets, I recommend the Parma or Calamari fillings.
My favourite Italian places in the city would have to be:
1. Rosetta at Crown (8 Whiteman Street, Southbank) for handmade pasta and great antipasto.
2. Scopri (191 Nicholson Street, Carlton) they serve some of the best freshly baked crusty bread I've ever tasted and have a beautiful seasonal menu.
3. Florentino's (80 Bourke Street, Melbourne) has a great selection of desserts and a good lunch deal (2 courses and a glass of wine for $40).
Try Merchant at Rialto, 525 Collins St. Guy Grossi's new Venetian styled restaurant. Definitely recommended.
Hello, if you travel to Lygon Street, Carlton, there are some amazing italian resturants there.
Piccolino's in East Burwood on Blackburn road, cheap, friendly and very tasty, highly recommend.
pomodoro sardo on lonsdale street. Now the food is absolutely delicious, but what more the ambiance is so Italian and the owner is everything you expect (and more) in an Italian restaurant.
I love Nicks too. Another great Italian restaurant in the city is Lucattini in Punch Lane. Delicious! We are spolit for choice in Melbourne with Italian food!