It seems Melbourne could be over its Asian food obsession and circling back to its European roots. In the last few months alone we've welcomed Italian joint Mr Ottorino to Fitzroy, seen A25 expand to the CBD and French bistro Ôter open up in Flinders Lane. Furthering that trend, chef Joseph Vargetto has launched his new classic Italian restaurant, Massi, on Little Collins Street. Opening last month, the venue is the little sibling of Kew favourite Mister Bianco, and offers a similar mix of coffee, cakes, cold meats and antipasti as well as pastas and Sicilian-style mains.
Named after the acclaimed chef's youngest son, the restaurant is located at 445 Little Collins, between Williams Street and Queen. Open Tuesday to Friday for breakfast, lunch and dinner (on Mondays they'll be open until 6pm), the space can seat up to 50 people, and is described by Vargetto as "comfortable and welcoming".
Diners looking for a quick bite can pay a visit to the "crudo antipasto corner", where they can watch chefs slice up a selection of salumi and terrines. Those after something heartier can opt for steak or pan-fried barramundi, or choose from a number of appetising pasta options such as black spaghettini with virgule, blue swimmer crab, garlic and chilli. Dessert is designed to be shared – because why would you choose between mascarpone panna cotta and orange cake with ricotta cream when you can just order both?
Massi will also welcome the city's post-work drinks crowd, with Aperitivo Hour kicking off at 4.30pm each day. Behind the impressive marble bar you'll find a great selection of beer, wine and Prosecco. Alternatively, you can take your booze home with you from their fully licensed bottle shop.