Scott Pickett’s Saint Crispin to close, reopen as modern Italian

Scott Pickett’s Saint Crispin on Smith Street in Melbourne’s Collingwood will close after six years, reopening on June 4 as modern Italian-inspired restaurant Lupo.

The changeover from fine diner to Italian is a long-held dream of Pickett’s, who is already having a big year, beginning with Estelle’s recalibration in February.

The high-ceilinged 50-seater that occupies a former cobbler’s workshop built in 1865 changed direction last year, becoming the Broadsheet Kitchen, a restaurant training ground for up-and-coming young chefs who applied to publisher Broadsheet for three-month cooking residencies.

The Broadsheet Kitchen at Saint Crispin’s final service will be June 1, before the interior gets a few cosmetic updates. 

Lupo’s menu will be a collaboration between Pickett, Pickett & Co. executive chef Stuart McVeigh (former Saint Crispin head chef) and new head chef Charlie Watson.

The venue will have a fresh-pasta focus, as a throwback to the time Pickett, McVeigh and Watson spent working in London together 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 spanner crab lasagne with basil and sunrise lime; Western Australian black truffle cipolla risotto; hare cappelletti, celeriac, mustard fruits; and squid-ink linguine, bottarga, sardine vinaigrette.

This news comes after the announcement of neighbouring Rockwell and Sons’ closure, which compounds the changing face of busy Smith Street.

Photography: Peter Dillon