Largely residential Brunswick West is home to big houses and gardens, and a main drag historically filled with convenience stores, fast-food joints and medical practitioners.

In recent years, cafes and eateries such as Lolo & Wren, Lankan Tucker, John Gorilla and Cirelli & Co have helped change the culinary footprint of the area. This month, Postmistress – serving rustic Italian with a few twists – joined their ranks on a quiet residential corner.

“I’ve always said food is fashion, so you’ve got to evolve with food,” says head chef Salvatore Giorgio, whose menu includes classics alongside less common pasta styles and sauces. “Everyone is a rock star now, but simplicity is the hardest to do. You’ve got to get back to the basics.”

So you’ll find arancini, calamari fritti and wood-fired pizza here, as well as beetroot gnocchi, a risotto of crunchy rice with chargrilled calamari, and scialatelli – a thick, short-strand pasta resembling fettuccine that originated on the Amalfi Coast.

Owners Vitale Ferrante, Patrick Ciccaldo and Hugo Diaz have transformed the blond-brick, graffitied building that once housed a post office (and a Greek social club) into a stylish contemporary bistro.

“There are a lot of groovy, quirky cafes, like John Gorilla, and there are a lot of clientele,” says Diaz of the area. “There is a customer base that want to go out to eat, and where are they travelling? Are they going to East Brunswick or are they heading into the city? A lot of those restaurants are offering the same as what we are going to be offering here.

“We want you to be able to come in twice or three times a week – one day to just have some cold meats with a drink, or one day you might want to share a pizza with a beer.”

Postmistress
71 Melville Road, Brunswick West
(03) 9381 1585

Hours:
Mon to Fri 12pm–10pm
Sat & Sun 12pm–11pm

postmistress.com.au

For Melbourne’s latest, subscribe to the Broadsheet newsletter.