Don’t get the wrong idea looking at Studio Amaro’s quasi-brutalist concrete facade. The 100-seat Italian restaurant, designed by Wendy Bergman (Chin Chin, Mr Miyagi and Hawker Hall) features rich timber panelling, textured tiles, brass accents and mustard corduroy booths that lend a warm, retro, den-like atmosphere at night. By day, the space’s prime corner location and floor-to-ceiling windows make lunch a sunny affair.
The basement bar (open for walk-ins only and serving food too), dials up the energy with moody lighting and DJs spinning Italo disco records. If you can’t make it to the party IRL, don’t worry – you can tune into Radio Amaro from home.
The menu across both spaces is social, approachable and, being Italian, properly seasonal. Expect snacky, regularly changed antipasti like confit mushrooms with porcini dust, or woodfired caponata, or whipped ricotta with lemon oil – all great for mopping up with the bubbly sourdough focaccia fermented for almost 72 hours. For mains there might be ribbon-y house-made mafaldine with prawns and citrus bisque, or a one-kilo T-bone from the grill. While the full menu is available throughout the day, there’s also a rotating selection of panini available to pre-order for pick up at lunch.
And of course there’s amaro (the bittersweet Italian digestivo) available throughout the venue – 40 to 50 bottles of it. Have it neat or in one of the many amaro-leaning cocktails, including a signature Nero Spritz. Wine covers local and Italian bottles, plus table wine in carafes, courtesy of new-wave Mildura winery MDI. It’s all the good stuff we’ve come to expect from Studio Amaro’s owner, Commune Group, also behind Firebird, Hanoi Hannah, Tokyo Tina, Moonhouse and New Quarter.
Phone: No phone
Gift the experience of Australia's
best restaurants, cafes and bars