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Michael Makras’ Italian Art-Deco cafe is a godsend in the CBD. As the owner of Optiko eyewear, Makras takes the same detailed approach to design at Marchetti.

The idea for a traditional Italian eatery came after spending lots of time in Milanese cafes on his annual buying trips for the store and the fit-out is inspired by Italian Brutalist architecture and the art of early Marcello Nizoli posters.

Marchetti has a small yet considered menu – featuring Italian pastries – that are baked on the premises by the all-Italian staff, including croissants, sandwiches and antipasti. Things change from week to week, but regulars can attest that Mike’s Mum’s Meatballs are always on the menu.

Makras’ mother is Greek and an expert of the Greek meatball (keftethes). They worked together to evolve the family recipe into the authentic Italian polpette with some fundamental changes. But Makras says the one constant is his Mum, the archetypal Greek mother, who prepares the meatballs everyday.

The meatballs are served with a slice of Jocelyn’s bread, perfect for collecting every last drop of sauce. Enjoy a rare Italian wine (usually organic) with lunch and finish with an Allpress espresso.