Mr Pietro takes the no-fanfare approach that chef and restaurateur Pietro Barbagallo (Kaprica) is known for. It’s reflected in Mr Pietro’s down-to-earth dining and decor.
The one-page menu features Barbagallo’s signature lo-fi Italian soul food, and the white-walled space is filled with warm wooden furnishings such as polished floorboards, an assortment of bentwood chairs and a custom marble-topped wood bar.
Upstairs, a future events space and wine-tasting room is home to burnished blood-red chesterfield sofas and vintage furniture from Barbagallo’s back shed; he also designed the restaurant’s fit-out.
This hands-on approach has earned the chef a legion of fans at his Italian restaurant Kaprica in Carlton South, and at his previous restaurants I Carusi in East Brunswick and I Carusi II in St Kilda.
Barbagallo’s familiar formula is present here: smiling waiters and home-style food that’s reasonably priced. Also, there’s also not an Italian flag in sight.
Try octopus salad that’s a slice of Sicilian summer, and a rich, red “baccala pomodoro” (cod poached in tomato).
Seafood plays a starring role on Mr Pietro’s menu, and while Kaprica lovers will be pleased to know there are pizzas on the menu, they will play second fiddle to pasta and meat dishes. Kaprica’s gnocchi with tomato and mozzarella is also on the menu here. And the wine list, pays particular attention to Victorian makers.