MELBOURNE | Arlechin is one of the new breed of Melbourne venues that opened in 2017 with the aim of providing quality food to those wanting something more than burgers and kebabs after midnight in the CBD. It’s owned by the Grossi family, and is hidden down a laneway, Mornane Place, in classic Melbourne small bar style. In fact it’s the same laneway that the Grossi family’s acclaimed restaurant Grossi Florentino backs onto.
Walk through the unassuming door and you’re greeted with a 40 seat space that feels somewhat subterranean, despite being at ground level. The low, arched cork roof evokes memories of hidden European bars located under railway arches, while low lighting, a marble bar, and wooden floors give the space a classy yet casual feel.
The wine list is extensive and features Australian, Italian and French wines both familiar and unfamiliar. The space also double as the wine cellar for Grossi Florentino and that restaurant’s entire range is available too if you want even more choice. Being a bar, cocktails are important here too, with a list of tasty creations put together by Joe Jones of Romeo Lane. The Jungle Bird, with dark rum, Campari, pineapple, lime and sugar, is particularly delicious.
As a place for a drink, Arlechin is a welcome addition to Melbourne’s small bar scene, but what really sets it apart from the competition, and has resulted in it appearing on many people’s best new Melbourne bars of 2017 list, is the food. The food at Arlechin is much more than an afterthought, and is available right until 3:00am. Head chef Fabrizio Amenta’s kitchen is pumping out a creation of fantastic dishes that exemplify what’s great about Italian food – simplicity with a focus on quality ingredients. The “Midnight Pasta” is already a classic – al dente pasta topped with a sauce of diced tomatoes, chilli, oregano, capers, and colatura di alici from the Amalfi Coast. Other dishes include things like saffron risoni, smoked-eel parfait, oysters, and chili quail with barbecue sauce.
Melbourne’s bar scene continues to evolve, and Arlechin is a perfect example of where we’re at today. A mature space, classy and casual, with an equal emphasis of quality food and drinks at all times.
Sun – Sat: 5:00pm to 3:00am