If your love of Italian food extends beyond the confines of lunch and dinner, this new South Yarra cafe is destined to impress. The brainchild of Joe Mammone, Marco Tenuta and Michael Badr (Bar Carolina, Tetto di Carolina, Il Bacaro, Marameo), Cantina Carolina is a cheery Euro-inspired spot that's eagerly flying the flag for breakfast pasta.
In here, soaking up the bright and breezy fit-out of terrazzo tiling, timber panelling and dazzling whites, you'll easily find yourself swept away on a mental jaunt to Italy.
Opening its doors at 7am, Cantina Carolina is launching patrons into the day with plates like the whipped ricotta and heirloom tomato bruschetta, crowned with a poached egg and prosciutto di Parma ($22), or the ricotta hotcake loaded with pistachio, mascarpone and rhubarb jam ($18). And yes, there's that breakfast pasta, in the form of a carbonara tartufata, featuring spaghetti with confit yolk, pancetta, pecorino and truffle ($25).
Lunchtime might see you lingering over antipasti and Italian wines by the glass or carafe, or perhaps tucking into heartier plates, like the porchetta matched with roasted fennel, mustard fruit and radicchio ($30).
A slab of classic tiramisu ($10) or a stuffed cannoli ($6), with a coffee to finish and you'll be feeling like a true Italian cafe-goer.
Images: Pete Dillon