Palermo is an eclectic barrio in Buenos Aires known for its rich Italian history. Now this energy is being brought to Melbourne by the team behind San Telmo and Pastuso in the form of their new Argentinian barbeque joint, taking its name and spirit from the neighbourhood.

“The point of difference is the asado fire pit, which we wanted to bring into the space to cook lamb and suckling pig for six to 10 hours,” says head chef Ollie Gould, a veteran of St Kilda’s Stokehouse.

Gippsland-sourced lamb and suckling pig from Western Plains Pork will be served with sides that include burnt carrots and baked bolognese.

Argentina’s vineyards, as highly regarded as its barbeque, will be well represented. The list at Palermo will include a selection of Argentinian producers including Ruca Malen (from Mendoza Province) and Humberto Canale (from Rio Negro Province), as well as European and Australian producers.

The space, designed by architects Ewert Leaf (creators of Windsor wine bar Neptune), will include raw timbers, steel framing and a cow-hide feature wall. Black and white tiles, lights fashioned from antique soda syphons, a marble bar, and portraits of Argentinian screen siren Coca Sarli feature elsewhere.

During Palermo’s construction a mural depicting the rolling hills Tuscany was uncovered. As a focal point in Palermo’s private dining room it reinforces the Argentine-Italian connection at Palermo.

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“We’ve taken the heart and soul of San Telmo and put in more of that Pastuso setting, with clean lines and a strong linear focus,” says restaurant manager and co-owner Ben Robinson. “San Telmo’s the boy of the group, the rowdy gaucho, and we feel Palermo is the feminine side – a little more eloquent and less boisterous.”

Palermo is set to open in Melbourne’s CBD at the end of November.

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