Tony Nicolini of DOC Group (DOC Carlton, Carlton Espresso, DOC Mornington and DOC Delicatessen) has crossed south of the river to open his latest venture, DOC Albert Park. The newest member of the family continues the successful formula by combining a classic Italian menu, excellent produce and old-school charm in a contemporary setting.
The locale is of particular sentimental value as it is the same building that once housed the famous Vic Ave Pasta & Wine restaurant, where Nicolini worked as a junior, learning the art of Italian hospitality and developing his passion for artisan pizza. “If those walls could talk, they would speak of colourful Italian camaraderie, many shared feasts and animated restaurateuring,” says Nicolini. “I always knew that one day I would open my own restaurant that would encapsulate the energy and ambience.”
Inside, whitewashed walls, polished concrete floors and a long, eye-catching marble bar give the space a fresh and more upmarket look. The room is furnished with slick, dark timber chairs and bar stools and bespoke tables by Arteveneta, while the beautiful steelwork is a standout feature.
Pizza is the firm favourite, as you would expect, yet the newly designed menu also expands to offer other Italian fare including lasagne, salads and soups. An inviting prosciutto, salumi and mozzarella bar decorated with colourful and traditional goods – along with an open kitchen with pizzas prepped out on the front benches – ensures you’re always close to the action.
It’s the finer and carefully chosen details that shine here – from the theatrical staff, to the Pirelli rubber stairs and the green, white and red accents throughout – all offering a proud nod to the restaurant’s rich heritage. As Nicolini puts it in no uncertain terms, here’s a place that is “authentic, exuberant and outrageously Italian”.
DOC Albert Park
135 Victoria Avenue, Albert Park
(03) 9690 7960
Mon to Thurs 5pm–late
Fri to Sun noon–late