Run Forrest

mezzo [ˈmɛtsəʊ]

[from Italian, literally: half; in the middle]

Half food; Half wine.

Half front of house; Half in the kitchen.

Half Aussie; Half Sicilian.

Half Luke Stringer; Half Joseph Vargetto.

They meet in the middle. Now there’s a new place to dine.

What’s the start to a new year without making a few changes, realising a few dreams, being true to yourself?

Well, that’s exactly what Luke Stringer and Joseph Vargetto, the duo behind Melbourne’s Oyster Little Bourke will be doing. 2010 will kick off with a new look space, a new dining philosophy, a very different food and wine focus, and the launch of a whole new restaurant offer that will reignite the fire in the bellies of these two very passionate blokes.

Despite many restaurants doing it tough at the mercy of the GFC, four-year-old Oyster Little Bourke has continued to thrive. Co-founding partner Frank Wilden left Oyster Little Bourke last year to pursue other interests, and Luke and Joseph saw this as an the opportunity to review what they wanted in life too. And, that, is Mezzo.

“I felt like a fresh change, as did Joe. I wanted to get back to the type of service and food and wine offer that got me hooked on working in this industry in the first place. That spirit of generosity. Of caring yet with an informality. Some good fun and shared experience, but with quality still paramount,” says Luke.

For Joe, it was about working in an environment that allowed a more direct expression of his love for Sicilian food. “I’m keen to create and share the type of food I grew up with that I absolutely adore. There are so many similarities in climate between there and Australia, so it’s the perfect cuisine with which to utilise this country’s abundant seasonal produce,” believes Joe.

Expect more casual environs. A wine list with a more Italian flavour. A menu with impanate, stuzzichini, a salumi selection, pastas, mains and ala piastra. Shared eating. A palpable energy and a genuine passion. A bigger injection of their respective personalities in the way the place ticks.

But due to popular demand (and a guaranteed outcry from the regulars), the beloved oysters, shucked on demand, won’t be leaving the menu just yet…

Mezzo Bar & Grill.

Serves it up from Friday 8th January 2010.
35 Little Bourke Street,
Melbourne, 3000

03 9650 0988.

[Oyster Little Bourke will remain trading as usual until close of business Wednesday 23rd December 2009].


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Run Forrest

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