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The south of Italy might be able to claim pizza, but the north is just as gastromically legendary. And at Merchant Osteria Veneto, in the appropriately Gothic surrounds of the Rialto Towers forecourt, the cuisine of Italy's northeast is put front and centre.
A Grossi venture, Merchant Osteria Veneto does quality northeast Italian dishes and complements them with a hefty list of Italian and Australian wines. While the food is refined the restaurant is still casual enough for a quick weekday lunch or straight-from-work meal.
For those who don't speak Italiano, an osteria is traditionally an informal eatery with a focus on good food and wine. That tradition continues at Merchant with the venue letting the heritage building's original brickwork shine throughout the indoor and outdoor dining areas.
Speaking of dining, the main offerings are divided into pasta, fish and meat, with veggies taking a supporting role as sides. Having said that you can definitely get a vegetarian pasta, or if you're just after a bite the cicchetti (Venetian bar snacks) menu has something for most palates, from fried cuttlefish to Prosciutto San Danielle.
495 Collins St
|Transport:||Nearby stations: Southern Cross|
|Opening hours:||Mon-Fri 7am-11pm; Sat 5-11pm|