The cool, new-wave restaurants popping up in Italy's fashion capital, Milan, are the inspiration behind Windsor newcomer Tipico.
The smart yet laidback 60-seat Italian restaurant is the first business of Andrea Da Como and Marco Scalisi. "We've been working for some incredible people over the past six or so years – but now it's time to run our own place," says Da Como. He hails from Baby and D.O.C., while Scalisi polished his skills at Ti Amo and Tokyo Tina. They've united with head chef Domenic De Marco, forming an Italian-born triumvirate.
A monochromatic fitout by Studio Ole has provided multiple dining options – at the grey terrazzo bar, on a round timber table of four, or on the black banquettes. Abstract representations of the female silhouette by London artist Meg Abbott keep watch on the space.
Food starts with assaggi (small bites), including a creamy chicken liver pâté with polenta bread, and moves into fried sardines covered with crunchy breadcrumbs made with leftover pizza dough. Speaking of, pizza is Roman-style "but slightly thicker so it doesn't fall apart".
Pasta is made on site, lightly coated with sauce in the Italian style, rather than swamped by it. To finish, try the staff favourite – ricotta cassata with candied fruits.
Like the wine list, which is democratically local and Italian, the cocktail list draws ideas from both countries, from the Aussie Scent (gin, dry vermouth and eucalyptus) to the Milano Sour (whisky-infused panettone, verjus and lemon).
Open Tue-Thu 5pm-late, Fri-Sun noon-late.
242 High Street, Windsor, 03 9089 0768, tipico.melbourne