Just opened yesterday, Carlton cicchetti bar Heartattack and Vine has found a way to draw upon the old-world Italian hospitality and history of Lygon Street, while still remaining thoroughly modern.

Much of the space, designed by architect Nicky Adams, is dedicated to a striking wooden bar that invites you to sit and watch the assembly of the delicate cicchetti, a Venetian take on tapas.

Co-owners Emily Bitto and Nathen Doyle (who've worked at A Minor Place and Wide Open Road hope their all-day espresso and cicchetti bar will fill a niche in Lygon Street’s burgeoning food scene. “It’s opposite the Nova Cinema, just down the road from Readings and near Melbourne Uni. It was the perfect place to put our own stamp on," Bitto says.

The cicchetti menu will rotate to make use of each season’s best produce with dishes such as slow-cooked meatballs and baccala on crostini. The Italian-focused bar offering features a mix of international and Australian wines as well as an impressive range of vermouth, including Casa Mariol ‘Vermut’ Negre from Catalonia in Spain and Contratto Rosso from Piedmont in Italy. Bitto says vermouth cocktails are an Italian summer favourite, and the team wants to introduce Melburnians to the pastime.

Heartattack and Vine will open daily from 7am for a European breakfast of Noisette pastries and Wide Open Road coffee. The equally pared-back lunch menu includes a moreish salt-rubbed porchetta roll, as well as a poached prawn on brioche with lime and dill mayo.

Evenings are reserved for cicchetti and drinks. Guests can enjoy a quick bite before heading off to a movie or grab a seat at one of the communal curbside benches to while away the long summer evenings. "You can make it as much of a meal or as much of a snack as you like," Bitto says.

Heartattack and Vine
329 Lygon Street, Carlton
(03) 9005 8624

Daily 7am–11pm