On Tuesday, 4 June, Chef-Restaurateur Scott Pickett’s Smith Street restaurant site will reopen as Lupo, a relaxed, contemporary Italian offering reflecting its Melbourne locale.
The change-over from acclaimed fine dining restaurant Saint Crispin to an Italian-inspired venue is a long-held dream of Pickett, who is having a year of realising his aspirations, first with Estelle and now Lupo.
“I’ve been thinking about opening an Italian restaurant for a long time. I trained extensively in pasta during my time in London and it’s something I’ve always had a love for, but it never quite fit within our style. I’m looking forward to returning to it and creating harmony in a wonderful, classical cuisine with a touch of Australian ingredients.” says Pickett.
Lupo’s menu will be a collaboration between Pickett, Executive Chef Stuart McVeigh (The Botanical, Pied a Terre) and Head Chef Charlie Watson (Eleven Madison Park, Elystan Street), with McVeigh entrusting day-to-day kitchen operations to Watson to focus on exciting upcoming projects for Pickett & Co.
Scott Pickett (left), Charlie Watson (middle), Stuart McVeigh (right)
The venue will have a pasta focus, made in-house daily, looking to the time Pickett, McVeigh and Watson spent working in London with Michelin-starred chef Phil Howard at The Square. Diners can anticipate a menu of modern Italian dishes peppered with ingredients from the Australian larder, including plant-based and gluten-free options.
A take on Howard’s celebrated dish, Lupo’s
menu will feature spanner crab lasagne, basil, sunrise lime, along with dishes
● Nduja, fermented tomato and anchovy on toast
● Hare cappelletti, celeriac, mustard fruits
● Squid ink linguine, bottarga, sardine vinaigrette
● Western Australian black truffle & cipolla risotto - cooked to order
A wine list by Sommelier Tristan Vinson (Bar Nonno, Saint Crispin) will highlight small-batch producers, predominantly showing Australian-made wines using Italian varietals. Comprised of 120 pours, the list will offer to 20 regularly-changing wines by the glass, as well as half bottle options. The cocktail list will show five elevated classics and five house concoctions, with highlights including a barrel-aged negroni made with Australian Campari.
Interiors will be transformed into a vibrant, welcoming 60-seat dining room, its aesthetic aligning with the pared-back elegance of Pickett’s other venues. An identity design by Studio Calero, Lupo’s understated palette of warm, neutral tones and textural timber will be elevated by bursts of Aperol orange and anchored by hints of forest green.
Address: 300 Smith Street, Collingwood VIC
Phone: (03) 9419 2202
Opening hours: lunch: Friday to Sunday, 12 pm-3 pm & dinner: Monday to Sunday, from 6 pm
Nduja, Fermented Tomato & Anchovy on Toast © Peter Dillon
Scott Pickett, Charlie Watson, Stuart McVeigh © Peter Dillon