Nick Stanton, the chef-owner of Melbourne's Hatted casual-fine-diner Ramblr, and party pub Leonard's House of Love, has opened his highly-anticipated third venue in Melbourne.
Leonardo's Pizza Palace is a world away from Ramblr's sleek, refined interior and bold and balanced, eastern-Asian-inspired food. It's a party bar, drinking den, and raucous restaurant all in one. The logo reads “bar-restaurant-club-dining”, and that blend is clear.
Leonardo's Pizza Palace has taken over a the former site of Pizza by the Metre, which opened in 1959, on the corner of Grattan Street in Carlton. Owners Stanton, Guy Bentley, Mark Catsburg and John Harper spent the better part of this year gutting the site and putting in timber walls, booths, and a brick wood-fired pizza oven.
The menu is short, with a handful of pizzas, a couple of pastas and salads, a schnitzel with capers and garlic butter, and some simple snacks, like fried sardines, whipped bottarga and pickles on toast.
The pizzas are twists on American classics, like one with their own pepperoni sausage made with the help of Gary's Quality Meats and served with a side of ranch dressing.They're made Neapolitan-style - fluffy and blistered in the in oven.
The venue opening is part of something of a renaissance in Carlton, with the Bar Liberty team's Capitano; Ian Ling's Super Ling and the new Calrton Wine Room' all opening this year.
Image source: @leonardospizzapalace via Instagram.