Named in honour of owner Con Christopoulos' Greek father’s hometown, Neapoli is part wine bar, part cafe, part secret boys club and has been an entirely indulgent personal mission for the man whose Midas touch has driven the success of a raft of respected – and quintessentially Melbourne – businesses, including The Melbourne Supper Club, Journal and Gill’s Diner.
The nicely hidden, American oak-lined, mezzanine floor evokes an agreeably masculine, Brat Pack mood. Meanwhile, the bar has a distinctly familiar, vintage feel and takes direct design inspiration from the classic example at Pellegrini’s, the source of many fond childhood memories for Christopoulos. "Theirs is a classic, timeless design and the stools are comfortable – that’s important."
The menu too, is a reflection not only of Christopoulos’ heritage but also his predilection for quality and mixing things up. Equal parts decadence, comfort food and ethically healthy fare; it’s real mood food. Super-food salads with side of La Latteria mozzarella and a cold-pressed organic juice, traditional Greek stifado or a simple spaghetti aglio olio with a glass of Old World red are the sorts of dishes you can expect.
Chef Sam Kenway’s sizeable menu offers the kind of flexibility that perfectly suits the current trend for non-committal, all-hours dining. The format is loose enough to welcome early breakfasts, a sneaky afternoon sherry or a late night soufflé or cheese course.