Good news, southsiders. Two members of the team behind South Melbourne's Park Street Pasta and Wine have opened a venue in Prahran.
Osteria Renata is a neighbourhood restaurant with an Italian slant, but it isn't afraid to cross borders into other parts of Europe, says owner Alex Ghaddab.
Gnocco fritto, the fried dough snack from Emilia-Romagna, is paired with jamon Iberico, while milky burrata sits on fava, the Greek dip of yellow split peas. A basket of focaccia, sourdough and Sardinian carta di musica caters to all bread orientations.
By day, the 58-seater is a sunlit space of white and mixed timbers. At night, it's a cosier proposition.
Beyond the courtyard is a glass-walled pasta lab, where chef Gus Cadden has the tools to produce more complex shapes than at Park Street. Quadrati – pasta squares filled with field mushrooms and mascarpone – are served with a parmesan and porcini fonduta.
Alongside three other pastas on the opening menu, you'll find veal cotoletta, garfish and Goolwa pipis with fregola (Sardinia's answer to cous cous), and, to finish, butternut semifreddo with caramelised white chocolate, Geraldton wax and butternut caramel.
Wine taps will pour Italian varietals falanghina and nero d'avola, from the Chalmers vineyards in northern Victoria, close to where Ghaddab grew up. "For me, there's a level of pride to be able to serve that stuff," he says.
There will also be a healthy Coravin selection of wines by the glass, as well as bottles from Australia and Italy.
Ghaddab and Cadden have stepped away from Park Street to focus on Renata, with the South Melbourne kitchen now under Davide Amato (Cappo Sociale, Fitzroy).
Open Tue-Thu 5pm-late, Fri-Sat noon-late.
436-438 High Street, Prahran, 03 9112 8962, osteriarenata.com.au