Guy Grossi’s new restaurant Merchant opened in The Rialto in mid-November and is a passionate, generous, open canvas from which the experienced and often, passionate, generous and open chef can express himself. Grossi has collaborated with the developers the Grollo family in the new Osteria (an Italian word referring to a place where a steady flow of diners is the focus rather than a formal dining structure) in the revamped Rialto to bring to the city a snapshot of Grossi’s Venetian heritage (from his mother’s side) brought together in a modern-Melbourne context.
Designed by Mills & Gorman and built over a two-year period, the large space allows for guests to choose how they like to dine. Settle into the bar, sit by the open kitchen, there’s flexibility in textures, moods and warmth in the space that carries over to the menu. Breakfast is available Monday to Saturday, lunch and dinner moves into small tastes including goose prosciutto, tuna carpaccio and oysters, and there’s a section dedicated to risotto and one to polenta (so very Northern Italian).
In a city where, it could be argued that there is a saturation of Italian restaurants, Merchant extends the well-established Grossi brand but also broadens the net for specificity in Italian dining that can only give us, the dining public, more insight into a rich culinary culture.
The Rialto, 495 Collins Street, Melbourne
(03) 9614 7688