Lupino, restaurant, Melbourne.
Lupino, restaurant, Melbourne. Photo: Eddie Jim EJZ

41 Little Collins Street Melbourne, Victoria 3000

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Opening hours Daily noon-3pm, 5pm-10pm
Features Accepts bookings, Bar, Business lunch, Family friendly, Gluten-free options, Groups, Licensed, Long lunch, Private dining, Pre-post-theatre, Romance-first date, Vegetarian friendly, Wheelchair access
Prices Moderate (mains $20-$40)
Chef Marco Lori, Stephen Phillips
Payments Diner's Club, eftpos, AMEX, Visa, Mastercard
Phone 03 9639 0333

Will Melburnians ever tire of Italian dining? Not if the crowd of business blokes and city shoppers passing under Lupino's lupine signage is any guide. Perhaps they're enticed by dishes like nonna used to make well, someone's nonna anyway, and one who thinks you're too skinny. To start, there'll be plenty of butter-ready fluffy bread and generous entrees, including a tangle of octopus, green beans and waxy spuds. There's a selection of simple pizzas (margherita; garlic and rosemary), pasta dishes such as plump potato gnocchi bobbing in a creamy gorgonzola sauce, and specials such as a minute steak that's anything but. flattened to the edge of the plate and crowned with a radicchio salad. Diners fortunate enough to be sitting on a banquette may feel inclined to sprawl out and gaze at Lupino's natty macrame hangings while they steel themselves for plus-size, Nutella-charged bomboloni, ferried by friendly staff.