For their latest suburban venture, the team behind Malvern East's Riserva have opened Baia Di Vino, a wine bar and restaurant on Beach Road in Sandringham. Meaning "bay of wine" in Italian, the 72-seater offers just that: plenty of wine and coastal views.
It's the work of Frank Ciorciari and Gian Chiaravalle (both of Riserva in Malvern East), Anthony Silvestre (ex-Kettle Black, South Melbourne), and Dino Mohsin and Vivian Man, both ex-Rockpool. Mohsin is in the kitchen, serving up Mediterranean-inspired small plates, and Man is the restaurant's sommelier.
Designer Samantha Eades, who previously worked with them on Riserva, has created a multi-purpose space where you can "bring your kids for a family dinner, come alone and sit at the bar, or come for a special occasion", says Ciorciari, who also has Glen Waverley's Sette Bello. "There are no real rules here."
Designed to conjure up impressions of an Amalfi sunset, the light and airy interior, once home to seafood restaurant Finz, features huge windows offering beach views, French-washed walls, exposed timber and rattan chairs.
"The reason we came to Sandringham is to bring a certain city vibe to the suburbs," says Ciorciari. "It's worked well for us at the other venues in Glen Waverley and especially Malvern. It's a matter of trying to allow people to keep it local. If you have a good local there's less need to travel."
Mohsin's menu, bolstered by a wood-fired oven, will change seasonally. Right now, the seafood-heavy menu lists dishes such as snapper crudo with pickled green chilli, beetroot ravioli with goat's cheese and brown butter, and brodetto di pesce – shellfish, scallops and squid in a prawn broth.
Open Mon-Tue 5pm-late, Wed-Sun noon-late.
1 Melrose Street, Sandringham (corner Beach Road), 03 9052 4499, baiadivino.com.au