Melbourne’s Latest Neighbourhood Italian Is Michelin-Worthy
Last month saw the opening of Lupo in Melbourne’s Collingwood. Taking over the space once occupied by fine dining restaurant Saint Crispin, the new venue is the brainchild of chef and restauranteur Scott Pickett.
The menu features relaxed Italian fare with a focus on homemade pastas. It was inspired by the days Pickett, Executive Chef Stuart McVeigh (The Botanical, Pied a Terre) and Head Chef Charlie Watson (Eleven Madison Park, Elystan Street), all spent working in London with Michelin-starred chef Phil Howard at The Square.
“Lupo’s a little bit special because we’re going to reveal and share all of our pasta techniques, tricks, flavour profiles, and expertise that we’ve gained since first working with Phil Howard at The Square – for me, just on 20 years ago,” says Pickett.
“All of the pasta at Lupo is made in house, fresh daily, and cooked to order,” he says. “The expertise, the training, the focus, the attention to detail to ensure that the pasta’s perfectly al dente, with the right amount of sauce and seasoning is actually extremely difficult. The simple things are always the hardest to do.”
He says the team promises to bring their Michelin experience and high standard of service to the Smith Street restaurant. Diners can expect dishes such as spanner crab lasagne, basil and sunrise lime and other winter comforts such as Western Australian black truffle and cipolla risotto, cooked to order.
“Diners might be surprised to discover our true passion and knowledge for Italian food, cookery and cuisine, because even though we’re classically French-trained, it’s always something that’s been simmering like a good ragu on the back burner, just sitting there waiting to explode onto Smith Street,” says Pickett.
Alongside the modern Italian dishes, options for those on plant-based or gluten-free diets will also be available.
With warm neutral tones with bursts of Aperol orange and dark greens, the 60-seat dining room will have the same paired back elegance of Pickett’s other venues.
“I’ve been thinking about opening an Italian restaurant for a long time,” he says.“I trained extensively in pasta during my time in London and it’s something I’ve always had a love for, but it never quite fit within our style.
“I’m looking forward to returning to it and creating harmony in a wonderful, classical cuisine with a touch of Australian ingredients.”
A wine list by Sommelier Tristan Vinson (Bar Nonno, Saint Crispin) will highlight small-batch producers, predominantly showing Australian-made wines using Italian varietals. Comprised of 120 pours, the list will offer to 20 regularly-changing wines by the glass, as well as half bottle options.
The cocktail list will show five elevated classics and five house concoctions, with highlights including a barrel-aged negroni made with Australian Campari.
Lupo is located on 300 Smith Street in Collingwood and open for lunch Friday to Sunday and dinner all week.
(Lead image: Hare Cappelletti / Peter Dillon)
Published 15 July, 2019