In his first foray south of the Yarra, the owner of CBD eateries, Il Bacaro and Sarti, has set up shop on Toorak Road with the new Bar Carolina. Joe Mammone is bringing the same brilliant food and drinks all rolled into one bistro-style dining experience. He is joined by Head Chef, Paolo Masciopinto, previously of Grossi Florentino and London’s Giorgio Locatelli.
The menu is driven by fresh produce and authentic Italian flavours with a modern flair that set it apart from the crowd. Starters are designed to share, like a seafood board of octopus, cuttlefish and school prawns in beetroot mayo, or hand-rolled pumpkin crochettes with black garlic aioli. Mains span meat options like pan-roasted duck breast with brown mushrooms and silverbeet, to seafood varieties like wild barramundi cooked in a crust of herb salt. Leave room for a bite of hand-crafted pasta, like beetroot ravioli with goat’s cheese and poppy seeds, or pappardelle with braised rabbit ragu sprinkled with truffle pecorino.
Dessert is not to be skipped – with an orb of white chocolate filled with tiramisu to be devoured. Pick up the ball with two hands and smash it onto your plate to reveal the coffee, savoiardi and mascarpone hiding within.
There’s also plenty of wine to be sampled from the Italian-centric list. Rare spirits like Capo Capo and Meletti will excite Italian locals dining in this Melbourne eatery, as they are not frequently stocked in Australia but make for a truly authentic touch. Of course, a selection of aperitifs and digestifs also feature, so in true Italian style, you can sip on a spritz before your meal and mull over a limoncello as you finish.
Bar Carolina has taken over the spot where Carousel Ice-cream once stood, receiving a neo-classic makeover that incorporates its South Yarra surrounds with its Italian roots. Be it formal dining indoors or a speedy lunch in the sunlit courtyard, this versatile space ticks all the boxes for a relaxed Italian bistro experience to return to, time and time again.
Of Bar Carolina, Joe says, “It’s a neighbourhood hub where people can stop by for any reason, be it for an aperitivo in the late afternoon sunshine, a twice-weekly dinner, or a big celebratory event.”