Florentino Grill re-opens on Bourke Street

Florentino Grill's charcoal calamari

Florentino Grill's charcoal calamari

The furniture, kitchen, even the tablecloths have seen change at Florentino Grill, but its bones are mostly intact.

The tablecloths went with the renovation, as did the original canopy above the open kitchen, replaced by a magnificent stainless steel, size-of-a-small-apartment number, installed to deal with the smoke from the new asado and Josper oven. The furniture has changed too. Now it's all sleek-lined timber stained the same nearly black as the wood panelling.

But the Florentino Grill's Robin Boyd-designed bones are mostly intact. The room has retained its finger-poppin' sense of pace, all closely packed tables and white-aproned waiters dancing around each other in the tight space, so the most distinct change is a sharpening of focus on the menu. Gone is the pan-Italian greatest-hits brief, replaced by an authentic, rustic take that zooms in on Tuscany and its surrounds.

Grilling is central, aptly enough, and chef Mario Di Natale shows a deft hand with the asado. Calamari, Skull Island prawns, White Rocks veal, wild barramundi and five different steaks all get the charcoal treatment, but there's great stuff elsewhere, too. Entrées of note include a brilliant musetto (the terrine-like northern Italian pig's-head sausage) splashed with parsley oil; subtly smoky charred peppers (from the Josper) dabbed with ricotta; and pickled tongue, pan-grilled and moreish, served with salsa verde and thin slices of radish.

The short pasta section has a couple of musts - testaroli, Liguria's pancake-like shreds tossed with basil, pecorino and oil, and yolk-yellow pappardelle with a sublime duck and porcini ragù. Service, led by Carlo Grossi, is sharp and to the point, and the user-friendly Italian-heavy wine list plays a straight, enjoyable bat. "Reinvented" is not quite right. Reinvigorated certainly is.

Florentino Grill, 80 Bourke St, Melbourne, Vic, (03) 9662 1811, grossiflorentino.com. Open Mon-Sat noon-3pm6pm-11pm



Newsletter

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

Latest news
Pinbone teams up with Merivale for a new pop-up
15.08.2017
Melbourne is now home to a Champagne vending machine
11.08.2017
On the Pass : Giovanni Pilu, Pilu at Freshwater
11.08.2017
Is Kisume’s new upstairs menu Melbourne’s most luxurious degustation?
03.08.2017
On the Pass: Fatuma Tikuye, Blue Nile
24.07.2017
Sydney chef Jeremy Strode dies
17.07.2017
GT
Signature Collection

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

Read More
Recipe collections

Looking for fresh dinner ideas? Not sure how to make the most out of seasonal produce? Or do you need to plan the perfect party menu? Our recipe collections have you covered.

See more

You might also like...

Hot Plate: Face2Face Noodles, Sydney

Chinatown's new spicy Chongqing-styled noodle bar is complet...

Hot Plates: Higher Ground, Melbourne

The line between cafe and restaurant is blurred at the CBD’s...

Hot Plates: Shobosho, Adelaide

North Asia meets Australian barbecue at Shobosho, Adam Listo...

Hot Plates: 13 February 2015

Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats ar...

L'Americano, Sydney

Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats ar...

Estelle Bistro, Melbourne

Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats ar...

Bang Street Food, Sydney

Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats ar...

Minamishima, Melbourne

Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats ar...

Lilo Tang, Canberra

Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats ar...

Mayflower Restaurant and Bar, Adelaide

Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats ar...

The Vertue of the Coffee Drink, Melbourne

Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats ar...

Spirit House, Yandina, Qld

Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats ar...

Bistro Nguyen's, Canberra

Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats ar...

University of Melbourne Farmers' Market

Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats ar...

Clayton Wells at LuMi

The pair join forces for Sunday lunches at LuMi.

get the latest news

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

×