The Grossi family have added to their Florentino hub at the top end of Bourke Street in the city with the opening of new bar Ombra Salumi. Ombra is right next door to Grossi Florentino, where Dur-e Dara’s Nudel Bar operated for 17 years. The name means ‘shadow’ in Italian and translates to ‘let’s go for a drink’ in the Venetian dialect, but Ombra offers more than merely a place for a drink – it is a venue dedicated to the craft of aging and preserving meats.
Ombra was initially intended to be a space where Guy Grossi could find more room to continue baking his own bread for the Grossi Florentino outlets.
“We had to make the space commercially viable too,” says Grossi communications director (and Guy’s sister) Liz Rodriguez. With this in mind, they decided to extend the work they’ve been doing curing their own meats both on and off the premises, as well as creating a menu built around the structure of classic antipasti. Crispy 12-hour lamb ribs, zucchini flowers with ricotta and preserved lemon and oxtail crocchette feature in small, perfect-to-share portions alongside a selection of cured meats like pancetta and sopressa, alongside a special ‘Friends of Ours’ section of the menu, which features local producers of fine cured meats.
Split over two-levels and designed by architects Mills Gorman, downstairs is a room rich with wooden panelling and dressed in bottles of wine and jars of preserved vegetables, while upstairs is minimal yet warm, with textured walls and statement lightshades. Ombra is an offering that expounds an ancient craft and allows the diner the freedom to graze from the menu for hours or just drop by for a quick glass of wine and plate of food. It will only enhance the Florentino hub and what has become a truly Italian block of Bourke.
76 Bourke Street, Melbourne
(03) 9639 1927
Mon to Sat 11.30am–late