Enoteca Boccaccio is a wine bar above Boccaccio Cellars, a family-run Italian grocer and bottle shop that opened in 1963. Here, the same family has distilled its passion and expertise into a 60-seat restaurant and wine bar. And taken plenty of inspiration from Italian wine bars including Roscioli in Rome and Il Santino in Florence.
As you walk up the stairs to the venue, a quote from the 14th-century Italian writer for whom the store is named, Giovanni Boccaccio, sets the tone for your meal: “It’s better to repent what you enjoyed than to repent not having enjoyed anything.” The fit-out, designed by Mim Design, sees bar stools centre around the kitchen pass, putting the kitchen team on full display as they make dishes influenced by Italian and pan-European cuisines.
On its menu you’ll find larger dishes like sea bream with cabbage cooked in vongole stock, charred on a hibachi and topped with vongole tartare. And a rich ragu served with tagliatelle and made from brined and braised duck legs that are combined with porcini mushrooms and chianti.
There are smaller bites, too, like mortadella-stuffed olives; duck liver and fois gras mousse with brioche; and grilled Fremantle octopus with ajo blanco (a cold Spanish soup) and charred cos.
Wine is shipped over from Italy, with a large list that has included famed Italian producers like Emidio Pepe and Gianfranco Soldera, with vintages going back to the 1960s. The everyday bottle list features plenty of wines under $100, while you might also find specialty by-the-glass pours like Krug champagne and Mount Mary chardonnay.
There’s also an official head of cheese here, along with an extensive formaggio selection. Behind floor-to-ceiling glass, you’ll spy a dairy-lover’s dream in cheeses such as Stone & Crow Night Walker, a soft cheese washed by Hoddles Creek chardonnay or pinot gris.
Gift the experience of Australia's
best restaurants, cafes and bars