Cappo Sociale is the flagship of the Hotel Fitzroy (in the space that once housed Village People Hawker Food Hall). The focus here is Italian: the lengthy menu name-checks most of the cuisine's classics – from salumi all the way through to pannacotta. You can opt for a multi-course dinner, or go a-la-carte.
If you’re just here for a classic, well-executed pasta, there’s pappardelle ragu made with Wagyu shin, red wine, tomato and a bright burst of lemon. Or perhaps the linguine with seared cuttlefish, wild nettle, chilli, garlic and a crumble of dried-squid ink.
The star of the Cappo show, though, is the pizza dough, which is proved for 72 hours before getting fired in a double-decker electric oven. Expect classic, simple toppings that complement the dough rather than sideline it, such as buffalo mozzarella and basil on a passata base, or the Calabria, with mild casalinga salami and a touch of ’nduja. Sourdough and focaccia also get baked in-house.
For drinks, there’s a sizeable selection of original cocktails and mainly Italian wines, focused on light, crisp varieties such as fiano, vermentino and pinot gris.
The design by Emma Tulloch Architects is airy and clean. The main bar is punctuated by tall, semi-circular booths, ideal for group privacy, while the main dining room houses an open kitchen. The former ballroom overlooks Brunswick Street and still has its original, ornate 4.4-metre-high ceilings. There’s also a private dining room with space for 20 and a terrace balcony for those warmer nights.