For anyone who’s ever had to wait for a table at Tipo 00, news that the team has opened a second restaurant is likely very welcome.
But Osteria Ilaria, which is located next door to Tipo, isn't another pasta bar.
“No pasta,” says chef and co-owner Andreas Papadakis. “Well, we might do one pasta course, but it won’t look like your typical bowl of pasta. It might be a little more refined, or it might just be a pasta component on a dish rather than a pasta course.
“It’s a different restaurant, a different concept,” he adds. “If we just wanted to do more pasta, we’d extend Tipo 00.”
Papadakis heads up Osteria Ilaria with Tipo’s co-owner and manager Luke Skidmore, leaving Alberto Fava to man the pans at Tipo. The menu at Osteria is like something you’d find in a modern osteria in Italy.
“Osteria is really a term meaning a casual wine-focused restaurant, which is what we are trying to be,” says Skidmore. "It's somewhere for people to pop in for a drink, or relax with some food."
“The foundations will be traditionally Italian, but we want to play around a bit more,” says Papadakis. “A lamb cutlet, zucchini flower, some salumi to start, maybe. For main, the duck dish with a side of nettle gnocchi.” There's a big focus on bread, too, with a few different options including a 48-hour fermented sourdough and a gluten-free grain bread.
Space to play around means other European ingredients or dishes might pop up on the menu. “I’m not saying I want to do a crème brulee, but if I find some amazing Spanish anchovies, I’m going to use them.” This extends to the wine, with Skidmore looking outside of Italy to Portugal, France and even Georgia.
Like Tipo 00, Osteria Ilaria has been designed by Skidmore’s architect sister, Briony Morgan. It's contemporary but rustic, with bare white brick walls and timber. There is space for 90 diners (as opposed to Tipo’s 40), plus a private dining room for 16.
There are two bars – one around the drinks service area, and another around the central open kitchen. A more casual, high-table, booking-free zone takes up the front section. The floor in this part of the restaurant has been hand-painted by Aaron McKenzie Design in the vein of a European-style mosaic in turquoise and red.
Behind this area, towards the back, are regular tables and leather banquette seating. The building dates back to 1887, and the dining room makes a feature of some of those historic architectural details such as arches.
There’s also an enormous cellar underneath the restaurant, which is used for storing wine and curing meats.
“We’ll see where it takes us, it’s kind of unknown,” says Papadakis. “We never expected Tipo 00 to be so crazy. Hopefully this place will be a bit more relaxed … it’s so big, it can’t possibly be as crazy as Tipo!”
367 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne
Mon to Fri, 11.30am–10.30pm
This article was updated on July 23, 2017.