Column 1:
a. 2021~-Frankie’sPizza(Sydney)-TripAadvisor
b. 210903F-Melbourne’HeraldSun’-NewYork(USA)-floods-Kennedy’s.chicken&pizza. There are about ten of these, mainly in Bronx.
c. 201020Tu-‘CanberraTimes’-Italian-provedor
d. 210217W-Melbourne’HeraldSun’-Malvern-CaffeLaVia-Italian

Column 2:
a. 210815Su-Melbourne-‘HeraldSun’-NorthFitzroy-Maria’sPasta
b. 210621-Fairfax-GoodFood-pasta
c. 210621-Fairfax-GoodFood-pasta-a-food
d. 211015F-Melbourne’Age’-PepesItalian-cafe
e. 211022F-Melbourne’Age’-ExhibitionSt-PepesItalian-cafe

Column 3:
a. 211101M-‘SMH’-Perth-HaySt-Simple-Italian-pizza.pasta
b. 220102-Fairfax-GoodFood-PastaPoetry.
c. 210903F-Melbourne’HeraldSun’. Joseph Vargetto wants to make cooking spaghetti quick and fun. Picture: David Caird
d. 211009Sa-Melbourne’HeraldSun’-pasta

Column 4:
a. 200914M-Melbourne’Age’-NewYork. Olio e più pizza & pasta. olioepiu.nyc
b. 211025M-Melbourne’HeraldSun’-GradiCrown-restaurant-pasta
c. 211128Su-Fairfax-GoodFood-Highett-Abbiocco-pasta
d. 211130Tu-Melbourne’HeraldSun’-pasta. This is Victoria Market.

Mama Mia! There’s no more Italian restaurants in Northbridge? David Prestipino November 1, 2021
Italian cuisine is no longer represented in the very area that spawned its renaissance in the west.
The first home of traditional trattoria-style restaurants in Western Australia, typified by red and white tablecloths, boisterous service, Tarantellaesque folk music and al fresco dining, Northbridge, is now bereft of Italian restaurants after Sorrento (est 1949) closed its doors earlier this month.
Francesca Costanza with her father Antonio at Simple Italian on Hay Street CREDIT:DAVID PRESTIPINO
The iconic restaurant was a favourite of Perth, its politicians and families alike, with tables of them a common occurrence daily on James Street. But owner Alfonso Di Lanzo was recently forced to close the doors after ongoing anti-social issues boiled to unpalatable heights.
Families have fled the once gregarious nightlife of Northbridge, which in its heyday included 15 Italian restaurants, the area renowned now for late-night violence with a side of bad vibes.
Even cafes and small coffee bars have been hit by elements of anti-social activity.
Northbridge building owner and former resident Philip Perroni is aghast at the state of the streets he grew up walking, the essence of Italy left to continental kings the Re Store on Lake Street.
“All the big shots in Perth, from construction and to lawyers, including Alan Bond’s company, were there all the time.”
Former Northbridge resident Philip Perroni
“There is not one Italian coffee shop left in Northbridge, including the unforgettable Cappuccino Bar,” Mr Perroni lamented this week.
“People would go there from all over Perth, even Fremantle, and queue up for the coffee and pâtisseries.“There were a lot of firsts Italians did in the area that are no longer there.
“It’s sad, there is no representation in an area that people first went there for.”
Pockets of culture still exist in some of the most challenging cities in the world, such as New York – home to Little Italy and Chinatown, among others – while closer to home, Fremantle’s iconic South Terrace is still abuzz with traditional Italian eateries.
In the past few decades, Northbridge has gone from more than a dozen trattorias to zero.
One of them, La Tavernetta, run by the great Ben Di Dio on the corner of James and Lake streets, was the saucy scene a who’s who of Perth, no matter the time or day of the week.
“All the big shots in Perth, from construction and to lawyers, including Alan Bond’s company, were there all the time,” Mr Perroni recalled.
On William Street, the renowned Abate brothers pioneered the first true pizzeria in Perth, while almost half a century ago, across from the Re Store, was where Perth got its first serve of chilli mussels at the famed Uncle Vincent’s.
While Melbourne still captures Italianate fare, Northbridge has lost its original Italian roots, nurtured post-war with the introduction of the first wave of cultural dining to greater Perth.
“Could anyone imagine Lygon Street in Melbourne not having an Italian restaurant? These were the restaurants that existed in Northbridge,” Mr Perroni said.
“These places used to attract families.”
In the CBD, the state of Italianate is just as dire, with just one remaining – Simple Italian – on Murray Street, run by three generations of the Costanza family.
Owner Francesca Costanza, whose family moved to Perth in 2012 from Rome – where they had been in the culinary industry since 1950 – was sad to see industry icons such as Sorrento shut their doors.
“We stand proud to still be the last remaining serving and providing traditional Italian food to WA,” she said.
“We sincerely appreciate everyone understands our culinary culture and supports us – including our landlord.”
Her father Antonio, from the southern Italian island of Lampedusa off Sicily, started cooking at age 11 and recently returned to work in the kitchen after a COVID-induced staffing shortage.
“We came across a huge global problem when COVID-19 hit. Especially with our borders being closed and no tourists … the city has become empty and full of bad activities,” Francesca said.
Homelessness was also a problem there, with Francesca forced to move on many rough sleepers from the venue’s cosy alfresco area on Murray Street, where a hole-in-wall setup serves breakfast snacks and coffee from 6am.
“I hate to be rude, and it’s embarrassing to have to ask, but they deter customers from dining there and stopping by for coffee,” she said.
Second and third-generation Italians are still plating up the good stuff across the suburbs, sans the traditional elements of trattorias, led by the likes of Mummucc’ in Wembley, Acqua e Sale in North Perth and Pappagallo in Leederville, a few hundred metres from one of the remaining trattorias inner Perth, Sienas.
But for a real slice of Little Italy out west, it seems we are left with Fremantle, which is no stranger to the magic of Mediterranean festivities and fare.
RIP: Ex-Northbridge trattorias: Sorrento Restaurant, The Romany, La Tosca, Ristorante Italiano, La Pergola, Vino Vino, Positano, Mama Madeira, Mama Marias, Ridolfo’s, The Godfather, Bouna Serra, Botticelli’s, La Tavernetta, Nunzio’s Woodfired Pizza
RELATED ARTICLE Homeless people still occupy central Northbridge while a state government facility for rough sleepers nearby runs at a quarter capacity. Businesses lament Perth homelessness surge as McGowan’s 100-bed facility lies in wait
RELATED ARTICLE Alfonso Di Lanzo outside Sorrento Restaurant in Northbridge this week. End of an era: Homelessness claims iconic Northbridge Italian restaurant
* There’s a good one in the Crescent Midland.
* Safety has been an issue for at least a decade and if the restauranteurs are as professional as I think they are they will rise again in a safer location. Their fare is just too good to go missing for long.
* you forgot Silver Dollar. that was one of the best there.

Sun.15.8.21 Melbourne ‘Herald Sun’. North Fitzroy, Maria’a Pasta. KIMBERLEY SEEDY
BIG family dinners are off the cards thanks to lockdown, but a North Fitzroy business is recreating thejoy of sharing a delicious meal.
The team at Maria’s Pasta began offering free pasta dinners during lockdown five, and have started up the initiative again. aiming to lift the community’s spirit.
Kylie Italiano (below), part of the family that runs the business, said when the fifth lockdown was announced, it hit people hard.
"Wejust needed to shift the energy and give (our staff) something fun to do and also give the community something to look forward to", she said.
Ms Italiano said that, as a family, they loved cooking up a feast and sharing dinner, and were missing it during lockdown. So they decided to recreate the meal, but with the whole community, offering free hot pasta dinners on Tuesday nights during lockdown.
"We’re social humans and we’re also missing that social connection," Ms ltaliano said, adding the reaction to the meals had been amazing.
"To see that many people happy at one time is the best."
People are invited to bring their own containers and follow social distancing rules.

Melbourne’s restaurant-quality pasta at home is here to stay. EMMA BREHENY June 21 2021
Fairfield’s new Pasta Poetry is now delivering fresh pasta around Melbourne. Photo: Simon Shiff
Pedigree pasta has become a regular sight on Victorian dinner tables, as a flourishing local trade that started as an economic necessity for restaurants shows signs of serious staying power.
Flinders Lane restaurant Lello Pasta Bar was one of many restaurants that flipped into a production kitchen in the early days of the pandemic. But now the restaurant is gone and the sole focus is pasta production in Sunshine North, with dozens of stockists (including newcomer Matteo’s Delicatessen) and an online store to supply.
Lello’s range covers rigatoni and fresh gnocchi plus lesser-seen shapes like paccheri and gnocchetti Sardi. Jarred sauces such as ‘nduja-spiked sugo make for easy dinner wins.
Joseph Vargetto (right) is making small-batch pasta under the Mattarello label. Photo: Kristoffer Paulsen
Joseph Vargetto, owner of several restaurants including Kew’s Mister Bianco, also started making pasta in the pandemic. Then in October he doubled down and created his own label, Mattarello, named for the slender rolling pin used to roll pasta by hand.
Using Tuerong Farm flour from the Mornington Peninsula and Victorian eggs from Tom’s Paddock, Vargetto’s fresh pappardelle and dried campanelle and cavatelli have raised the bar for home cooking. In the most recent lockdown, nearly everything in the Mattarello range sold out, he says.
Vargetto is not alone in adding a retail arm to his business. 400 Gradi’s pop-up grocer Gradi Mercato, selling fresh pasta and pouches of sauce, is looking like a more permanent fixture by the day. King & Godfree, Via Porta and A25 Pizzeria continue to offer heat-at-home lasagnes, both through their online stores and via restaurant marketplace Co-Lab Pantry.
Pasta Poetry’s ragu bolognese lasagne uses a traditional recipe that stipulates five sheets of hand-rolled egg pasta. Photo: Simon Shiff
Also joining Melbourne’s non-stop pasta party is Pasta Poetry. At the new store in Fairfield, oxtail cappelletti, saffron tagliatelle and sauces including vegan-friendly mushroom ragu are made each day. And they’re now delivering top-shelf pasta all over Melbourne, with long-range plans to cover Victoria and Australia.
And at Al Dente Enoteca, ex-Grossi chef Andrea Vignali continues to craft luxe lobster ravioli and tortellini of duck and Jerusalem artichoke that require nothing more than a dip in boiling water. Oh, and a glass of wine.
Gemima Cody reviews Al Dente Enoteca

TIME to get silly with spaghetti. KARA MONSSEN
Melbourne chef Joseph Vargetto wants to lift our lockdown spirits with his Spaghetti Western video series, showing us how to make pasta from scratch at home.
Vargetto, who owns Mister Bianco in Kew and Massi in the CBD, plans to release the one-minute instructional videos in the coming weeks.
Spaghetti, rigatoni and cavatelli will be first on the menu.
"I think everyone is getting a bit jaded in lockdown and we want to have a bit of a laugh," Vargetto said. "People don’t want to sit around for an hour cooking dinner. This will be a bit of fun."
The videos will be named after Clint Eastwood’s films in the spaghetti western subgenre such as Good, Bad and Ugly; Fistfull of Dollars and Rawhide.
Spaghetti Western was the term coined in the 1960s for western movies made in Italy that were too expensive to be filmed in USA.
The video series will appear on misterbianco.com.au and also on instagram @joeyvargetto.

Va Penne (Northcote)
Sail away to the Italian coastline of your dreams with bowls of pasta and perfect pizza from this northside newcomer. Spaghetti vongole, big rounds of artichoke- and olive-topped pizza, and stretchy burrata with bright salsa verde are just what the doctor ordered. Throw in a bottle of something fresh and Italian and, hey, maybe even a T-shirt printed with the restaurant’s signature hand gesture that means whatever you want it to mean, depending on your mood: bellissimo, what do you want or get outta here.
Available Tuesday to Saturday for pick-up or local delivery. Order online via Va Penne.

Melbourne’s best new (and new-look) outdoor and rooftop dining and drinking for summer. EMMA BREHENY January 2 2022
Fairfield handmade pasta shop Pasta Poetry has added an alfresco dining space. Photo: Simon Shiff
Melburnians sometimes seem hardwired to seek out sunshine, given it’s something of a rarity in our city. But this summer, chances are we’ll cancel all our plans to make the most of a few hours of blue sky between the La Niña downpours. Luckily, a stack of new (and returning) rooftops, decks and riverside playgrounds are ready and waiting for those rare moments. Some will even welcome your needy lockdown pooch that has to be brought along on all social outings (although we recommend calling each venue to check if it’s dog-friendly). Here’s to the city slicker’s version of the great outdoors.
* Pomelo (CBD). The crew behind Pomelo were determined not to open a rooftop bar that felt undercooked, a place that leaned heavily on its views. Given they also opened the slick cocktail den Bouvardia this year and manager Dominic Gareffa comes from Attica, it’s safe to say Pomelo is a cut-above. House seltzers take waste products from Bouvardia’s cocktails and turn them into drinks such as Peaches and Cream or Ms. O Peel, a miso-tinged daiquiri seltzer utilising banana and lime byproduct. Creative rather than classic is the keyword. A serious line-up of pet-nats includes South Australian producer Ngeringa, the Yarra Valley’s Friends of Punch and Fairbank from Sutton Grange. All of it is designed for sunny days surrounded by the clashing colours and prints of the 1980s-inspired decor.
Level 3, 169 Melbourne Place, Melbourne, pomelorooftop.com.au
* The Q Rooftop Bar (CBD). With a line-up of snacky Asian fare and three different margaritas, this spot makes a fine stopgap until you get the tropical holiday you’ve been craving. Part of new city hotel The Quincy, an export from Singapore, the 28th floor Q Rooftop boasts some seriously impressive views. But it’s not resting on its laurels. Food ranges from smoked eel betel leaf to sticky chilli and garlic-coated chicken ribs with roasted rice. Cocktails profile lemongrass, yuzu and tropical flavours while sporting oh-so-Melbourne names like The Hook Turn and Under The Clocks. Beers are just as local and there’s even a house gin made by Brunswick distillers Antagonist.
509 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, 03 9492 7400, quincymelbourne.com
* Teller (Brunswick East)
This pub might be a recent addition to the area, but it’s got plenty of old-timey touches that have it pegged for "reliable local" status, starting with the recently added beer garden. Wedged between Teller and its neighbours, it’s a great spot to admire the building, originally a bank, and its early 20th-century heritage as you order rounds of Carlton Draught, rhubarb Spritz or CoConspirators hazy IPA. Food covers fancy plates (hello, cured ocean trout with dill and creme fraiche) as well as pub standards with three steaks, a half-chicken, burgers, and fish and chips on offer.
81 Lygon Street, Brunswick East, tellerbrunswickeast.com.au
The beer garden at recently opened pub Teller, in Brunswick East. Credit: Kate Shanasy
Teller’s dog-friendly beer garden. Photo: Kate Shanasy
* Petanque Social (Southbank).Would you like a side of sustainability with your riverside frolicking? Petanque Social has returned to Southbank this summer with some serious green cred to go with its loosely Tuscan theme. Reclaimed timber and cork feature heavily plus the summer pop-up is collecting rainwater, using solar energy to power fridges and putting its compost to good use in a worm farm. Drink garnishes come from an on-site garden, too. Pimms, spritzes and margaritas will go down a treat with Gradi pizza, Nobu fried chicken or a seafood platter in chic surrounds.
Crown Riverwalk, 8 Whiteman Street, Southbank, crownmelbourne.com.au
* Gigi Rooftop (Thornbury). This northside rooftop with its pops of orange and green has landed on top of Umberto Espresso Bar just in time for summer. Given the team’s track record (they also run Joanie’s Baretto), you can expect a warm welcome and ice-cold Spritzes, but you’re also in for skewers of South Australian sardines, cheesy soldiers spread with ‘nduja and late-afternoon DJ sets. Cocktails are fun by name and nature: the Bananavardier is a case in point.
Upstairs, 917 High Street, Thornbury, gigirooftop.com.au
GiGi Rooftop is a new bar that’s opened on top of Umberto Espresso Bar in Thornbury in Melbourne’s north. Credit: HiSylvia Photography
Soldiers of ‘nduja and cheese are part of the Italian-leaning snacks at GiGi Rooftop in Thornbury. Photo: HiSylvia Photography
* Pasta Poetry (Fairfield)
You know that Pasta Poetry’s team roll, fold and pleat delicate pasta to take home seven days a week. But now you can enjoy their handiwork in the sunny courtyard that’s tucked beside St Paul’s Church, and add on snacks, drinks and a game of bocce. The menu changes week to week but might include crostini, bagna cauda with seasonal vegetables, spaghetti tossed through capers, anchovies and chilli, or rigatoni with ragu bolognese. Just add a Monte-Negroni, featuring the Italian amaro of a similar name.
86 Station Street, Fairfield, pastapoetry.com.au
Fairfield handmade pasta shop Pasta Poetry has added an alfresco dining space in its courtyard, along with a bocce green. Credit: Simon Shiff
Pasta Poetry’s courtyard, complete with a bocce green. Photo: Simon Shiff
* Arbory Afloat (CBD)
On fine days, all roads lead to this annual summertime pop-up, which is styled this year on the resorts found along Turkey’s Turquoise Coast where resident chefs Nada Thomas and Salim Gafayri spent their summer holidays as children, eating just-caught seafood you select yourself and plates of meze.
The siblings have delved into a family recipe book to bring some of those flavours to an Australian setting. Red lentil kofte are based on their mum’s recipe while muhammara, a capsicum dip, is made the way their dad used to do it. The cracked wheat salad with grilled prawns is a riff on their sister’s kisir. Other dishes are all their own, such as the adonai kebab that Gafayri spent weeks in lockdown perfecting or the pizzas that take Neapolitan-style bases and load them with Turkish ingredients like pomegranate molasses, susuk sausage and tulum cheese, many sourced directly from Turkey.
Whether you’re poolside in a cabana or in the shade of one of the olive trees, a round of pomegranate Cosmopolitans, sumac-dusted calamari and fried fish sandwiches like those found in Istanbul are all you need to feel far, far away.
2 Flinders Walk, Melbourne, arboryafloat.com.au
See also: The Arbory team’s new five-level mega venue.
Arbory Afloat is open for business, with a Turquoise Coast (Turkish Riviera theme). Part of a Good Food story on best spots to dine outdoors in summer. Credit: Parker Blain (except for kebab shot)
Arbory Afloat is open for business, with a pool deck, day lounges, olive trees and a Turkish-inspired menu. Photo: Parker Blain
* Primrose & Vine (Essendon). This northern suburbs wine store and bar got the green light from the local council to turn its drive-through into a wine bar from Thursday to Saturday, part of a push for more outdoor dining. The 32-seat addition complements the indoor bar, which opened last year, and will offer the same range of Italian, Spanish and French wines from a 250-strong cellar plus simple snacks, charcuterie, cheese and, if you’re seeking more sustenance, pizzas delivered from nearby Il Caminetto.
80 Primrose Street, Essendon, primroseandvine.com.au
* Fable (CBD)
Fable is a new rooftop bar in Melbourne serving plenty of gluten-free and vegan drinks and snacks.
Fable calls itself Melbourne’s highest rooftop bar, with views of the Arts Centre and the Bolte Bridge from its perch at the Hellenic quarter of the city. While we can’t back up that claim, there’s no harm in heading up 14 storeys and nabbing a plush salmon-coloured booth for the serious business of deciding what to eat and drink. Cocktails come with a full backstory and plenty of theatre, whether that’s billows of steam, flames or a Trojan horse-inspired serving vessel. Mezze including halloumi with blistered grapes are prepared by chef Alex Xinis, who has clocked time at The Press Club and Michelin-starred venues in Greece. His dinner-worthy options include moussaka or lamb shoulder, with loads of gluten-free and vegan options available across food and cocktails. Party on.
Level 13, 168 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, fablemelbourne.com.au
The view from new rootop bar, Fable. Photo: Aaron Francis
* Al Dente Enoteca (Carlton). The pasta palace born out of a lockdown pivot has added 24 seats outside thanks to a deal with their friendly neighbour, Tabet’s Bakery, which only trades during the day and was happy for Al Dente’s marble-topped tables to be set up out front. Saved for walk-ins, they’re a great option when spontaneity strikes. The full menu of refined pasta and modern Italian dishes is available, if you want to settle in with wagyu bresaola and melon or Moreton Bay bug spaghetti. Or you can make it a sunny afternoon pit-stop for Spritzes and snacks.
161-163 Nicholson Street, Carlton, aldenteenoteca.com
* Runner Up (Collingwood). The latest addition to Collingwood Yards arts precinct is big on music, Italian drinks and a welcoming environment, with DJs playing most weekends from a set of decks built into the bar, their tunes piped through a set of 1990s Japanese speakers. A combination of generous booths inside, smaller tables in an inside-outside annex and decking with 270-degree views outside, Runner Up can accommodate 100 people. Italian-inspired cocktails feature top-shelf Australian spirits, such as Bloody Spritz featuring Four Pillars’ cult shiraz gin and an Australiano: Okar bitters and sweet vermouth topped up with soda. Snacks are simple: crisps, things in tins, olives.
Level 2, 35 Johnston Street, Collingwood, runnerup.net.au
Runner Up rooftop bar in Collingwood, part of the Collingwood Yards arts precinct. Credit: Kevin McDowell
Runner Up rooftop bar in Collingwood has live DJs playing at a conversation-friendly volume, plus a focus on Italian wine. Photo: Kevin McDowell
* Exchange Beach Club (Port Melbourne)
Back for another year of fun and frolicking, this bayside pop-up by the nearby Exchange Hotel is here for all of Melbourne’s escapist needs. Striped deckchairs? Check. Margaritas? Check. Prawns on a stick, lobster in a roll and ice-cream in a sandwich give things a local flavour. Then there are the extras like the dog-friendly policy and pooch treats, bookable cabanas, occasional Pilates classes, and midweek happy hour.
Dog Beach, Port Melbourne, exchangebeachclub.com.au
The Exchange Beach Club, a beach pop up restaurant on the sand at Port Melbourne Dog Beach. Picture by Wayne Taylor
The Exchange Beach Club is a pop-up restaurant on the sand at Port Melbourne Dog Beach. Photo: Wayne Taylor
Events space The Stolen Gem becomes Melbourne’s latest rooftop bar
Four Melbourne venues with courtyards for COVID-cautious outdoor catch-ups

Why Melbourne’s most exciting new restaurants are opening in the outer suburbs. DANI VALENT November 26 2021
Suburban restaurants that kept their neighbourhoods fed during lockdown are now reaping the benefits, finding that diners are still doing a lot of their eating out within five kilometres of home.
* Cinzia Buono opened Buono Italian restaurant in Parkdale during the long second lockdown of 2020. "We are so lucky to be in the suburbs," she says of her bayside pocket. "The rent is about one-third of what it would be in the city or Chapel Street – it gave us some space to breathe in our first year."
As soon as the restaurant opened – offering takeaway only – the local community rallied around.
"Here in Parkdale, you feel you are part of the family," says Buono. "People kept coming in and asking if we were OK. Some customers even brought us homemade marmalade and butter chicken. I’ve never experienced it in any other restaurant."
The lower rent means Buono can offer her diners a better experience, keeping wine prices lower, buying better produce and employing an extra person in the kitchen.
"We are absolutely loving it," she says. "People will still go to the city for some special outings but they don’t really need to travel for quality dining anymore."
Clued-in locals know to arrive early to grab a seat at the La Pinta tapas bar in Reservoir. Photo: Jason South
Opening in the outer suburbs was a no-brainer for Catherine Chauchat, co-owner of La Pinta tapas bar in Reservoir which launched last spring.
"My old customers in Fitzroy are now in Reservoir," she says. "The city is left for the big players with big cashflow and big investment."
Chauchat believes the next move will be further out again. "I would say this is just the beginning of branching out – the next wave will be to the country, with people wanting to integrate nature with work.
"It’s the great resignation. We are entering the age of human capital and financial capital is getting a little bit of a dint. I think it’s a fantastic movement, a good thing that came out of COVID. I feel like I’m on that pathway."
The Buono team (from left) Fabio Magliano, Daniele Ruffolo, Cinzia Buono and Mirco Speri. Photo: Simon Schluter
* Meanwhile, Jung Eun Chae has moved her six-seat apartment restaurant from Brunswick to Cockatoo, partly to service the Dandenong Ranges community, but mostly to offer an escape for inner-city diners.
"This is a good time for outer suburban restaurants," she says. "I think more people are willing to travel fair distances to experience unique dining experiences, especially after three months of lockdown. I hope my customers will come out here to unplug, unwind and enjoy delicious, healthy food."
Twice-cooked octopus with homemade Italian pork sausage and chickpea puree at Buono in Parkdale. Photo: Supplied
A semi-rural site means Chae can do more growing, cooking and creating. "I have always wanted a large space where I can grow my own produce and ferment traditional Korean condiments," she says. "I have a big space here to make and store my products."
* Jon Ford at Teddy Picker pizza restaurant in Werribee believes he’s part of a precinct renewal that includes new wine bars and a pub renovation, prompting residents to feel a sense of pride in their suburb.
"We are creating a food hub that means people can bar hop and have a high quality, urban experience in a suburb that has sometimes had a bit of a stigma about it," he says.
Carbs are the main event at timber and terrazzo pasta bar Abbiocco in Highett. Photo: Paul Jeffers
"A large part of why I wanted to do this business was to give people options in the area so they don’t need to travel to the city or even down to Geelong."
Teddy Picker has a large back deck overlooking the Werribee River. "It’s something people always talk about," says Ford. "When you’re out there you could be anywhere – the Murray, way out in the country – and it’s a big drawcard.
"People are still cautious about travelling and confined spaces so I think it’s going to really benefit local businesses. I am extremely happy to be here."
Five new restaurants rocking the suburbs
* Abbiocco. Roughly translated from Italian, the name means "food coma" and it’s an accurate description. Carbs are the main event at the olive, timber and terrazzo pasta bar. See the squid ink spaghetti with clams and salty cured roe, but also paccheri – wide tubes named for the way they slap – soaked in ragu, and strozzapreti, also known as "priest stranglers", mingling with carbonara fixings. 501 Highett Road, Highett, 03 9191 4566, abbioccohighett.com.
Scollops at Abbiocco in Highett. Photo: Paul Jeffers
* Buono Restaurant & Bar. This stripped-back spot opened in 2020 and quickly won the heart of its bayside community, dangling dreams of Italy in the form of excellent food and accessible European wines in a simple setting. 198 Como Parade West, Parkdale, 03 8510 5246, buonoparkdale.com.au.
* Chae. Chef Jung Eun Chae gained renown for being Melbourne’s smallest restaurant when she launched a fine diner in her Brunswick apartment kitchen in late 2020. Now she’s moved to a new home in the Dandenong Ranges, but still offers intimate six-course menus for just six diners per sitting, four times a week. Silky rice and pumpkin porridge is sweetened by pear enzyme, while a restorative beef rib soup is seasoned with a sea salt derivative that takes four years to make. Unparalleled and vital. 33 Mountain Road, Cockatoo, chae.com.au.
Buono dangles dreams of Italy in the form of excellent food and accessible European wines. Photo: Simon Schluter
* Comma Food & Wine. The kind of local you want everywhere: pretty velvet booths up the front for a special occasion dinner, freestanding bar stools for Sunday sessions with live gigs, and a sprawling beer garden for the thousands of dogs and kids acquired in lockdown. This meets chef Matt Woodhouse’s menu of equal flex: perhaps crudite with dukkah-flecked hummus, or crisp chicken ribs lifted with a vinegary sting of guindilla peppers and chimichurri. 2 Station Street, Moorabbin, 03 9503 4238, wearecomma.squarespace.com.
Comma Food and Wine in Moorabbin is the kind of local you want everywhere. Photo: Joe Armao
* La Pinta. Clued-in locals know to arrive early to grab a seat at the tapas bar that’s put Reservoir on the culinary map. Staff pour vermouth from a tap and deliver a rapid-fire succession of small plates, and there’s no predicting the ever-changing blackboard menu. A classic tortilla de patatas and pitch-perfect burnt Basque cheesecake deserve their status as the two constants. 791 High Street, Reservoir, 0492 818 032, lapintareservoir.com.au.

Sat.9.10.21 Melbourne ‘Herald Sun’. Pasta. ALICE COSTER
PASTA-in-a-jar? Only in Melbourne.
We are not yet out of lockdown, but downright wacky food concepts are already going viral.
The latest offering is a take on the everything-in-a-jar craze from Italian restaurant Barkly’s Kitchen in hipster Brunswick.
Head chef and owner Rajan Sahdev says he is the first to serve pasta in a jar. "It’s the first time happening in all of Australia; no one has done it," says Sahdev of his three flavours. green pesto. creamy and a special Barkly’s Kitchen red pesto.
But doesn’t it beg the questionwhy? Social media has dubbed the dish a "culinary abomination" and "embarrassingly Melbourne".
Sahdev says hejust wanted to create something fun, different and "of course that tastes great as well".

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