Masani, restaurant, Carlton, Melbourne.
Masani, restaurant, Carlton, Melbourne. Photo: Supplied

313 Drummond Street Carlton, Victoria 3053

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Opening hours Daily, noon-3.30pm; 6pm-late
Features Licensed, BYO, Gluten-free options, Accepts bookings, Outdoor seating
Prices Expensive (mains over $40)
Chef Richard Maisano
Payments Diner's Club, eftpos, AMEX, Visa, Mastercard
Phone 03 9347 5610

In an Italianate building on Drummond Street, family-run Masani, with its timeless darkwood decor, is still dishing out old-school charm and hospitality three decades on. Everything is house-made, from the bread and grissini to the organic durum wheat pasta, not forgetting the almond biscotti that accompany your espresso. Start with toasted crostini and seasonal dips while perusing the menu, where you'll find classic northern Italian entrees such as a tender beef carpaccio boosted by truffled butter, parmigiano reggiano and grilled porcini, or a plate of silky San Daniele prosciutto with buffalo burrata. Pasta is a highlight, with variations on otherwise traditional dishes, such as ravioli of roast duck and shiitake with marsala duck livers; pillowy ricotta and spinach gnocchi come with surprisingly light taleggio sauce. Hearty mains include pheasant 'in sfoglia', a sophisticated pie of tender, creamy meat in flaky pastry - house-made, of course. Desserts continue the time-honoured theme, with things like souffle and crepes with caramelised oranges.