With scrumptious pizzas, delightful libations and chic interiors, the party is just getting started in Piccolo Grand, the latest list-topper on Melburnians’ to-dine bucket list.

The latest offering by the award-winning culinary team which masterminded The Grand Richmond, Piccolo Grand is tucked away in the courtyard nook behind the iconic venue.

For first-timers to Piccolo Grand, a cheerful signage marked the pizza bar’s entrance – an inconspicuous alley next to The Grand Richmond Hotel. Checkered black, lime green and punchy red tiles leads the way into the light-filled courtyard pizza bar which offers snazzy indoor dining as well as outdoor seatings perfect for lazy afternoon drinking sessions.

In the outdoor area, wooden benches and tables are interspersed with lush greenery and charming hand-woven Balinese rattan lanterns. The spacious L-shaped outdoor space bordering the glass partitioned indoor area comfortably accommodates 60 tipsy diners.

The indoor dining area accommodates a further 60 guests, courtesy of the variety of seating arrangements offered in the plush carpeted space. There are booths for those looking for a more intimate experience, wooden tables for no-frills diners as well as bar side seats for guests keen to get close to the thick of the action.

The ringside spot, undoubtedly, is the seats opposite the impressive Moretti Forni pizza oven which occupies the heart of the kitchen. Three Italian pizzaiolo (pizza chefs) prepares the pizza to order, utilising ingredients sourced from boutique artisan producers and house-made condiments and pizza dough. The head pizzaiolo is Emanuele Galoni, a veteran pizza chef who cut his teeth in award-winning pizzerias across the world. Over the course of his impressive 17 years career as a pizza chef, Emanuele had worked in various countries in Europe, South America, United States before arriving in Australia.

Image: handmade pizza dough by Piccolo Grand

For Piccolo Grand, the dough undergoes a double fermentation process – once at room-temperature before it is cold-fermented for two days. The result is a glorious thin, yet springy crust offering the perfect foil for the artisan pizzas.

“Our idea is to make a hybrid of Roman and Neapolitan-style pizzas. We’re still experimenting with the various different types of flours, such as healthy, unrefined flour as well as various long fermentation doughs.” Emanuele enthused.

Piccolo Grand offers a pizza-centric menu offering antipasti, rosso (tomato based) pizzas, bianco (non-tomato based) pizzas, pastas, classic mains and desserts. The prosciutto e rucola pizza comes highly recommended – a simple time-tested combination of house made tomato paste, prosciutto, rocket, parmesan and fiori di latte. Our favourite is the classic margherita pizza. Each bite illustrates the perfect marriage between house made tomato paste, fiori di latte and freshly picked basil.

Image: Margherita pizza by Piccolo Grand

The wine menu is a pragmatic showcase of the finest vintages procured across the world. Whether you’re a purist after a French burgundy or an adventurous alcohol-enthusiast looking to wet your beak in a sparkling chenin blanc, there’s something for everyone. The malty draught category is well represented too if that’s more to your speed. There’s America’s Six Point Jammer Ale, Italy’s Terminal Pale Ale and the local Victorian Hills Pear Cider amongst the long list of golden, frothy goodness.

DETAILS

Piccolo Grand

331 Burnley Street, Richmond

VIC 3121

T: (+61) 3 9429 2530

grandrichmond.com.au

Prices $$ (fair)

Cuisine Italian Pizza BarMinus Limited choice for pasta lovers

VerdictThe pizzas are excellent

Categories: Food Melbourne