It’s only been four months since we last published a wrap of new Italian restaurant openings. But Melbourne’s love affair with all things Italian blazes (and on and on). Since then, we’ve welcomed 10 great new openings, so read on for our roundup.
Nona’s houseNorth Fitzroy
A Melburnian has converted his nonna’s Fitzroy North home into a nostalgic Italian sub-store. Enter through the discreet side door, order at the garage window, then head to a nearby leafy park with a meatball sub and a side of fries topped with bolognese or carbonara – made from recipes family.
Stokehouse pasta and barst kilda
From beach club to friendly pasta bar, Stokehouse Pasta & Bar opens its doors on the former site of Pontoon. The seaside institution of St Kilda now has an all-day European-inspired bar and restaurant where you’ll find family-sized bowls of pasta and tiramisu dressed up as an Alaskan bomb. Think of it as “a half price version of Stokehouse”.
Pizza is anything but standard at Figlia, the third restaurant in Tipo 00 and Osteria Ilaria. The guns behind two of Melbourne’s favorite Italian restaurants have made their pizzeria dreams come true in Brunswick East. Sit at the large bar and munch on duck bologna and barbecued king prawns, or reserve a table and share pizzas topped with Moreton Bay bugs, fermented cabbage and other center left ingredients.
A “formaggio” sign marks the spot at Grana, Brunswick East’s chic deli by Tipo 00 and Osteria Ilaria. Next to the team’s new pizzeria Lygon Street Figlia, it’s a one-stop-shop for pre-dinner snacks. Shop left-of-center cheese (including pretty ricotta coated in tangerine zest) from Lucy Whitlow, remarkable salumi, and lo-fi vino.
A sunny rooftop bar is the icing on the cake at South Yarra’s newest Italian destination, Stella. It’s four stories and nearly four years of construction. Get your fix of golden hour at the top, then descend to the gold-lit trattoria for pizza made from a family recipe. Or a barrel-aged Negroni at the cocktail bar.
It’s a little dive and a little disco at Cobourg’s Italian-American pizza bar, the Hotel Lombardo. The dimly lit restaurant hits all the right notes, with a big nostalgic kick. Slip into a cozy cabin for brilliant pepperoni pizza – or cross-culture bologna and pineapple. Then bring a game of Negronis to the pool table.
With views for days, you’ll want a window seat at Marnong Estate’s new Italian restaurant, La Vetta. Just 35 minutes from Melbourne, the sprawling Mickleham winery has reinvented its first restaurant. Now, a former Scopri and Bar Bambi chef serves up hearty pastas, Bistecca alla Fiorentina and tiramisu cannoli.
There’s homemade Mortadella and Wagyu Bolognese at Abbiocco’s Second Pasta Palace, St Kilda. The chic Italian restaurant has grown so much in popularity since opening in Highett that the team replicated the concept in a moody space on Barkly Street. Now they “essentially limit the area of the bay”.
Slim’s is a retro, rowdy Italian-American pizzeria from the team of Wowee Zowee and Loosie. With super cheesy pizzas, smashing “Italian Nonna Pilsners” and lots of 70s style.
Loaded focaccia, prosecco salami and fun Italian wine at Team Umberto’s new wine bar – where the OG Espresso Bar used to be. The collaboration with specialist wine importer Quelvino is here for a while, not for long.
Al Dente Saporicarlton
The Team Behind Carlton Pasta Heaven Al dente has transformed his Italian Provenore next door into a laid-back trattoria inspired by childhood memories. Think panzerotti stuffed with mozzarella (like a mini calzone) and spaghetti alle vongole. It opens November 22, so keep an eye out Large format for the full story.