Chef Rosa Mitchell outside the restaurant she is about to refurbish at 22 Punch Lane Melbourne.
Chef Rosa Mitchell outside the restaurant she is about to refurbish in Melbourne. Photo: Michael Clayton-Jones MCJ

She's back and she's very happy. Cook Rosa Mitchell garnered a loyal following with her relaxed Italian food at the Journal canteen — affectionately called Rosa's Kitchen — from 2004 to 2009. After months of searching, she and business partners Peter Bartholomew and David Mackintosh have found a venue, the former Lucattini, in Punch Lane in the city.

Mitchell will direct front-of-house and the food will include "what I've always done, antipasto and offal, like tongue and tripe", but she says there will be more food due to more kitchen space.

Her head chef is Lucy David, formerly at Pei Modern and Coda. The 50-seater will open in late February after "a freshen up", which includes a paint job and new floors. Rosa's Kitchen plans to open Monday to Saturday, 11am-11pm.