Restaurant Guide

Capitano: Restaurant review

With retro style and riffs on classics, Capitano, from the team behind Bar Liberty, isn’t your typical red-sauce joint.


421 Rathdowne St,
Carlton, Vic


Mon-Fri 5.30pm-11.30pm;
Sat 3pm-midnight;
Sun noon-11pm


E $11-$20
M $18-$65
D $6-$15

The apparently limitless appeal of the mid-priced Melbourne Italian bistro has captured the team from Bar Liberty who have put a red-sauce American filter on pasta, pizza and parmigiana at Carlton's Capitano. Occupying a former dive bar, Capitano has given the space a retro spin (terrazzo, wood, vintage shades) that's both visually appealing and aurally challenging when the place is full. The old-school style is in keeping with the menu, a short and sharp placemat list that includes an excellent (expensive) parmigiana and some of the finest pizze in town, complete with a cold-fermented, liberally blistered crust, an attractively sour backbeat and New York-style malleability. Basic cheese and tomato bases can be customised with the likes of pepperoni, pickled chilli and anchovies, and with smart vegetarian options that include cavolo nero and rainbow chard. House pasta is a highlight, especially when tossed with butt-kicking vodka sauce and classic American clam sauce. The wine list, all Italian varieties from here and there, mostly keeps things natural and/or artisan, helping Capitano add something fresh and interesting to a crowded field.
(03) 9134 8555
Bookings recommended
  • Licensed
  • Bar
  • Vegetarian-friendly
  • Wheelchair access
  • Outdoor dining
Accepted card types:
  • American Express
  • Eftpos
  • MasterCard
  • Visa
Casey Wall
This review was made independently for the Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide. The guide's reviewers visit unannounced and pay their way.