Keen to gift Rushcutters Bay with an authentic taste of Rome, Flavio Carnevale has pulled up stumps on his southern Italian-inspired Popolo to make way for new venture Marta.
As Popolo prepares to relocate to slightly more formal CBD digs, the space at 50 McLachlan Avenue has been transformed into a bright and buzzy neighbourhood osteria and bar, as imagined by award-winning Melbourne architects, DesignOffice (who're responsible for the epic Higher Ground). The all-embracing space is decked out in black and olive neutral tones, boasting a sunny courtyard and an array of seating options to suit any occasion.
Moving away from the food of the Basilicata region, Marta's food and drink offering will take its cues from the lively venues of Rome, where Carnevale's hospitality journey began. Head Chef Christuan Jordaan is leading a menu that is both refined and full of personality, featuring dishes like bombolotti carbonara, whole-fried artichoke and tiella gaetana, a pie-like dish of thin pizza layers filled with baby calamari ragu. Daily house specials hope to inspire regular visits and it will only be open for lunch on Sundays — and dinner six nights a week.
Meanwhile, a bar area with high-topped tables will be ideal for those drinks-focused drop-ins — sessions spent sipping spritzes and quaffing wines poured from Carnevale's bespoke ceramic decanters.