Brunetti opens 300-seat cafe in Flinders Lane, Melbourne

The new Brunetti cafe in Flinders Lane is ready for action.
The new Brunetti cafe in Flinders Lane is ready for action. Photo: Darrian Traynor

No tweezers. No micro-herbs. No nasturtiums. Chef Simon Moss (Sapore, Entrecote) is promising classic Italian dishes with a modern twist at Brunetti Flinders Lane, the city offshoot of the Carlton coffee-and-cake behemoth, but definitely nothing too fancy. 

Opening on Monday, the 300-seat space encompasses a cake and gelato counter, a coffee bar, a dining area, and a Campari and aperitif bar.

A suspended UFO-shaped Marana Forni wood-fired pizza oven hovers in the kitchen and an on-site coffee roaster will produce specialty blends.

Burrata, macerated tomatoes, aged balsamic vinegar, and basil.
Burrata, macerated tomatoes, aged balsamic vinegar, and basil. Photo: Supplied

Drawing inspiration from Venetian architect Carlo Scarpa, design firm Techne has used imported marble and terrazzo, colourful timber inlay work and steel-framed windows for the huge space, which has entrances at both Flinders Lane and Collins Street. 

A mural of a busy piazza by Brazilian illustrator Filipe Jardim hugs the coffee bar.

Along with pizzas and panini, Moss will send out dishes such as gnocchi alla bolognese with gremolata and parmesan, and spanner crab lasagnette, tomato, zucchini, crab bisque. 

Executive chef Simon Moss at Brunetti Flinders Lane.
Executive chef Simon Moss at Brunetti Flinders Lane. Photo: Gareth Sobey

Cicchetti (snacks), available from noon until late, include gnocco fritto with salsa verde mayo and crisp prosciutto, and Campari-cured New Zealand king salmon with lemon mascarpone.

Brunetti Flinders Lane replaces the City Square cafe, which closed in December 2015 to make way for the Metro Tunnel development.

Stage two of the Flinders Lane project, tipped to open in late 2018, will transform a former basement bank vault into a private dining room and bar. 

Gnocchi alla bolognese with gremolata and parmesan at Brunetti.
Gnocchi alla bolognese with gremolata and parmesan at Brunetti. Photo: Supplied

Open Sun-Thu 6am-11pm, Fri-Sat 6am-midnight.

250 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, 03 9347 2801, brunetticaffe.com.