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At the end of a narrow laneway around the side of the building, Piccolo Grand is a colourful eatery with a fit-out inspired by Milan and Rome in the 1950s, by interior designer Christo Gillard.
Outside, a leafy beer garden wraps around the dining room. Inside, the panelled ceiling forms the canvas for a series of red, green and mustard-coloured graphics. Wide olive-green banquettes invite lingering, and a series of Roman-style illustrations complement a quieter nook.
Head chef Andrew Beddoes oversees the kitchen. Dishes speak to the pub’s late owner and chef Valerio Nucci, who, prior to founding The Grand in 2003, spent many years in the kitchen at Melbourne institution Cafe Di Stasio.
Nucci was known for his vincisgrassi lasagne, a specialty dish from the Marche region on the east coast of Italy. It layers sheets of pasta with beef, chicken livers and lamb brains, and here it’s a true standout. Find it alongside a rotating list of handmade pastas and a swathe of rosse (red sauce) and bianche (white sauce) pizzas. Pub classics include The Grand Parma and a one-kilogram dry-aged T-bone steak.
If you have room for dessert, go for the mascarpone-filled doughnuts with homemade espresso ice-cream.
From 5pm to 6pm every day, Apertivo Hour kicks in – you can get an Amaro, spritz, pint of beer or glass of wine for $10, with a bar snack (such as olives or salted almonds) included. From 9pm to 10pm, during Digestivo Hour, a selection of $10 drinks might include a Limoncello Tart cocktail or a Tiramisu Martini.
$2 from every pizza sold in January will be donated directly to the Bushfire Disaster Appeal.