When the weather gets cold, we turn to warmer foods to heat up our souls and keep us happy. The perfect winter meal begins with pasta and ends with Nutella bombolini, and that’s why we have compiled a list of our top pick cosy Italian restaurants to keep you warm for the winter.
256-258 Glenferrie Road, Malvern
Named after a traditional Italian festival that aims to exhibit culinary specialities, this three-storey Italian food institution is nothing short of its own Little Italy. Sagra is an exceptional restaurant that delivers guests an authentic Italian experience.
Upon arrival, guests are met with a large open air kitchen that sits in the restaurants centre, the walls are covered in eccentric posters and a sense of homeliness and warmth immediately washes over you.
Sagra reflects a modern Italian cuisine that is crafted and delivered by internationally trained chefs. These chefs seek out the finest quality, seasonal ingredients and create dishes that are rich in old school flavours and fresh new taste. These dishes can be perfectly complemented by one of many Italian or Australian wines available for selection.
Sagra’s desire to provide only the highest quality and freshest ingredients continues up to their rooftop bar, which has been specifically designed to cater for changing weather conditions. On colder nights curl up in the enclosed bar, and marvel at panoramic views of the city skyline through the floor to ceiling glass walls.
This exquisite restaurant also doubles as a gourmet food and wine store and art gallery. At lunchtime, diners can make their way to the upstairs gallery and eat a delicious meal surrounded by exquisite artwork from both local and international artists.
Sagra was built on the ethos of celebration, so when it comes to planning your next function look no further than hosting it at this venue. There are three rooms available for exclusive use, each one perfect for a different celebration – for venue hire info [click here]
631-633 Church Street, Richmond
A sister restaurant to some of Melbourne’s biggest restaurants, including Chin Chin, Hawker Hall and Kong, this Italian restaurant is one to put on your list.
The fun at Baby begins with the quirky interior decorations, bright red neon lights and the novelty of an open kitchen. This modern yet rustic space extends an invitation to all with plenty of tables, bar seats and benches to dine at, that spill out onto their courtyard. This courtyard is covered in umbrellas and heaters, so you’ll still be able to comfortably spend a winters night out here.
The team at Baby have curated a seasonal menu of 16 pizza’s, all created with quality ingredients such as homemade mozzarella, anchovies, fresh rosemary and prosciutto. They also dish up excellent pasta, meat and fish dishes.
This restaurant adds an unexpected modern twist onto their dishes, but there is no doubt the chefs absolutely nail everything that comes out of that kitchen. Staying true to Italian tradition, each dish is portioned very generously, so make sure you leave some room for dessert!
242 High Street, Windsor
When translated to English, Tipico generally means typical. In this case, Tipico is anything but typical, this outstanding restaurant manages to merge classic Italian food with an elegant fine dining experience, and we’re all for it.
Tipico is your go to sophisticated pizza and cocktail bar, this modern industrial space has leather booths, hanging lights and a wood paneled enclosed kitchen, perfect for a cold night in.
Their specially curated menu leaves little to the imagination, as every dish you could ever dream of is written on the menu before you. There’s antipasti (starters), pasta, contorni (sides), pizza and everyone’s favourite, dolchi (dessert). Each dish has a subtle modern twist that is executed to perfection,and is sure to warm you from the inside out.
When it comes to wines, there is an ample amount. These wines have been hand selected by the Tipico owners, curated a list of only the best from both Italy and Victoria. Italian favourites have also had their influence on the cocktail selection, which showcase eight house specials including the Milano Sour (whiskey infused panettone, egg white and lemon) and Venice Sunset (aperol, gin, ruby grapefruit).
Tipico is full of vibrant atmosphere, and if you haven’t already been we suggest you make the journey.
558 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne CBD
Nestled away just off Little Bourke Street, with entry via Merritts Place, this restaurant offers a calm respite from the busy Melbourne CBD. Scugnizzo is that authentic, delicious, family owned Italian restaurant that everyone needs in their life.
From the moment you step foot into this off the radar restaurant, you are i met with the aromatic smells wafting out from the kitchen, which immediately fills your body with warmth and excitement for the food to come. With specialty in homemade pasta, regional Italian dishes and daily blackboard specials, the food does not disappoint.
These traditional dishes are complimented by a selection of Italian and Australian wines that go down smoothly with any dish on the menu.
Any Italian restaurant that is a popular choice with locals is a top pick for us, so the next time you find yourself wandering the backstreets of the CBD keep Scugnizzo in mind, it really is one of Melbourne’s best kept secrets.
6 Russell Place, Melbourne CBD
Located in the heart of the CBD and on one of Melbourne’s most iconic laneways, Sarti has been on the restaurant scene for over 12 years.
This Italian eatery was revamped in 2013, and since then it has branded itself as a causal Italian eatery with a modern menu of re-imagined delicious Italian dishes. Some must try’s include the Wagyu beef carpaccio, mushroom & cheddar crocchette and Squid ink pasta with blue swimmer crab.
Sarti boasts wooden tables, exposed brick and couch seating – every feature you’d search for when looking for a winter escape.
This hidden gem is the perfect place to indulge in a spectacular three-course meal, served by only the friendliest and most helpful waiters. It is a truly authentic Italian dining experience and will have you running back days later for more.
Sarti also doubles as a function space, with the option of a private dining experience or an exclusive rooftop sanctuary, this venue is suitable for any type of celebration on any day of the week – for venue hire info [click here].
By Ashleigh Hendel