Hot restaurants and bars that have just opened or are coming soon.
Cucina Povera Vino Vero
Maurice Terzini, the colourful owner of Bondi's Icebergs, is returning to Melbourne, where he started his career 30 years ago. This time he's joined by his son, Sylvester, and chef Joseph Vargetto (Mister Bianco). The team will transform Vargetto's city restaurant, Massi, with a sleek new fit-out and a menu of Italian peasant-style food. Opens January.
445 Little Collins St, Melbourne
Chef Joe Vargetto, Sylvester Terzini and Arnaldo Terzini ae teaming up for Cucina Povera. Photo: Kristoffer Paulsen
Di Stasio Pizzeria
The anticipated new hotspot from Rinaldo Di Stasio and Mallory Wall sits behind the King and Godfree complex, adorned with Reko Rennie artwork and Shaun Gladwell sculptures. The menu features nine different pizzas and more than a dozen main courses including a roast of the day and fresh pasta. The courtyard bar is centred around a fountain imported from Italy.
224 Faraday St, Carlton distasio.com.au/pizzeria
Pizza at Di Stasio Pizzeria. Photo: Justin McManus
Enter via Laundry
What began as dinner parties at Helly Raichura's home has become a roving dining experience championing the under-represented cuisines of India. From February, Carlton North will be the latest home for intimate gatherings of up to 16 diners, with mic-dropping dishes that might include fragrant potato pickle topped with desert lime, or khandvi – a chickpea flour crepe – washed in coconut and native bush tomato oil.
Carlton North (address revealed on booking), entervialaundry.com.au
One of Helly Raichura's modern Indian dishes. Photo: Kristoffer Paulsen
Her, the ambitious project from the Arbory crew, features no fewer than four different venues across five levels in a former cigarette factory. There's a French-inspired bistro, a Thai-style barbecue joint, a live performance space and a rooftop bar. From mid-December, you'll be able to come for breakfast and stay until they call last drinks.
270 Lonsdale St, Melbourne
The Arbory team are transforming 270 Lonsdale Street into Her. Photo: Simon Schiff
Rocco's Bologna Discoteca
A pandemic side hustle of saucy sandwiches and snacks from the team behind Poodle Bar and Bistro has spawned its own spin-off. The old Casa Ciuccio is the new home of this all-day affair, with a private balcony for low-key soirees. By night it's an Italian trattoria, where pastas and amaros come into play. Opens December.
15 Gertrude St, Fitzroy, 03 9046 2000, roccosbologna.com
Rocco's Bologna Discoteca popped up during the shutdown. Photo: Emilio Scalzo
The It Lists are brought to you by Citi
This article features in the Good Food Guide 2022 magazine, published on November 30 with presenting partners Citi and Vittoria Coffee, and free with The Age. Also on sale from December 7 in newsagents and supermarkets.