Da Bruno is the kind of place where you can choose your own adventure. Pop in for an aperitivo and quick bite before a show or game at the MCG, or stay the whole evening and descend into the neon-lit basement bar, where you can sink into a red velvet lounge for classic cocktails, oysters and the signature house cheeseburger (until midnight). It’s the second venue for brothers Michael and Anthony Koutroulis (also behind Hawthorn pizza bar Santoni).
The multi-functional space is made up of five different levels, with not one, but two rooftops. Above ground, a 10-metre-high glass shield guides you into the entrance and one of three dining areas. This space is filled with brown leather couches, round edges, an espresso bar and an open kitchen, with the scent from the spaceship-like woodfired pizza oven taking over the room.
A level up, the mezzanine has more seating and a private dining room with an old-school ’80s feel. Climb the staircase again and find the open-air rooftop dining area and main bar (and perhaps a well-earned drink). And finally, up again, the second rooftop that’s soundtracked by house music is your dedicated spot to sit back and drink with a backdrop of stunning skyline views.
The pared-back menu focuses on Italian classics using local and seasonal ingredients. From the margherita to the gamberi with prawns, garlic, mozzarella, chilli, parsley and olive oil, all the pizzas are made with Australian flour. You’ll also find pasta, including the crowd-favourite spaghetti with Moreton Bay bug, tomato, verbena and shellfish butter. Also on offer are snacks and share plates like salmon crudo with capers, shallots, dill, mascarpone and bottarga. And for dessert, tiramisu, naturally.
There’s also an extensive cocktail list – with a choice of seven Martinis among a classic Margarita and Negroni, and a Four Pillars bloody shiraz sour – as well as a number of wines and beers.
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