With its house-made pasta and cracking wine selection, neighbourhood eatery Park Street has always been a favourite for all things Italian in South Melbourne. And in 2022, the team followed up with Osteria Renata in Prahran, just up from the Mount Erica Hotel.
This handsome restaurant and bar shares some of the same European charm that diners have come to love at Park Street. But one of the major differences is that the kitchen is significantly larger. So big, in fact, that there’s a dedicated “pasta lab”, serving as a pasta production HQ for both venues.
You’ll find both northern- (egg-based) and southern-style (semolina dough) pastas here, but the northern varieties reign supreme. Highlights include the signature rock lobster spaghetti – a take on spaghetti all’astice – finished with a light bisque made from the shells. A half lobster takes pride of place on top.
Head chef Gus Cadden, who also runs the show at Park Street, rounds out the offering with crowd-pleasing snacks. Think cacio e pepe gnocchi fritti, oysters served with amaro mignonette and and charry octopus spiedini (skewers) with ‘nduja. Mains might include veal cotoletta with crispy capers and Pecorino Romano, and a pull-apart lamb shoulder served with wintry cavolo nero.
Behind a lush olive-green facade on High Street, the elegantly, light-filled dining room features a beautiful timber bar, which stocks a tight selection of imported Italian wines including barolo and barbaresco. There’s also a handful of Italian varietals produced in Victoria.
And while the inspiration for the menu – and fit-out – is almost entirely Italian, the restaurant takes its name from co-owner Alex Ghaddab’s Polish-Ukrainian grandmother, Renata, whose legacy of warm, friendly-faced hospitality is what the team aspires to offer.
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