Cucina Povera Vino Vera bar opens in Melbourne CBD; restaurant available soon

By on June 20, 2022 0

Maurice Terzini’s highly anticipated return to Melbourne restaurants draws closer this week, with the opening tomorrow of the bar at Cucina Povera Vino Vera, his CBD venture with chef Joseph Vargetto.

Before opening for full service the following week, they’ll be offering a concise bar menu in what Vargetto describes as “Cucina piccola.”

The week-long preview will celebrate the traditions of Italian migrants to Australia via small plates such as fried provolone cheese with sweet and sour figs and grilled lupini beans with chilli. Every hour they will place a copper pot of freshly made ricotta on the bar, to be served with ciabatta. And for dessert, there are cannoli from legendary bakery Footscray T Cavallaro & Sons.

Visitors will also get a glimpse of Cucina Povera’s industrial-inspired layout, with concrete and pops of red, a departure from the warm wood of the former Massi restaurant, which Vargetto opened in 2016.

Since Good food announced the project last September, Terzini’s son Sylvester has left, with Steven Kirkpatrick of Icebergs Dining Room & Bar and Belongil Beach Italian Food serving as restaurant manager.

Maurice Terzini, who made a name for himself at Caffe e Cucina in South Yarra and the Melbourne Wine Room in St Kilda before heading north to open Icebergs in Bondi, originally hoped to launch Cucina Povera last November, but was delayed by shortages of shopkeepers and catering staff.

“Maybe it’s a godsend that it’s been delayed,” says Vargetto, who also owns Mister Bianco at Kew. “It was a great opportunity for us to experience the reality of what it is.”

The 55-seat restaurant will be open four dinners and two lunches a week from June 29.

Bar open Wednesday to Saturday from 3 p.m. to late June 22.

445 Little Collins Street, Melbourne, 03 9670 5347,