Lupino is an Italian bistro on Little Collins Street. The venue is the second venture for manager Richard Lodge and chef Marco Lori, longtime colleagues and previous business partners in another CBD Italian, Becco (with Simon Hartley and Liz Egan).
The bistro, designed by architects Techne, has a retro feel- complete with macramé, terracotta and a little urban kitsch – mixed with a timeless sense of approachability. “The concept is about a simple Italian bistro with handmade pastas and breads,” says Lodge. “It’s very relaxed with good food and good wine.”
The menu keeps it simple and while the term share-plate may not be on the menu, it can be applied to the experience. “We don’t have share-plates as such but more stand-alone meals,” Lodge explains. “Although there are dishes you can share on the menu if that’s how you want to go. We want it to be a place people make their own.” The menu is based around six pastas, three to four pizzas, three entrees and three mains.
It’s interesting to note that Melbourne never seems to tire of Italian restaurants, or perhaps it’s the fact that we never tire of restaurants run by experienced professionals.