Established in 1983 by Chef Restaurateur Richard Maisano, Masani is set in a neo-Gothic 1880’s Victorian terrace in Carlton, Melbourne’s celebrated Italian district. Richard trained as a chef in Switzerland and worked in resorts and hotels throughout Italy before returning to Melbourne to realize his dream of creating a stylish restaurant with classic European furnishings, an extensive cellar and cocktail bar, and dishes inspired by Australia’s finest seasonal produce and Italy’s unique regions.
Richard’s signature dishes include fresh hand-made pasta, exotic game birds, specialty seafood and crustaceans, farm-gate meats and his masterful Swiss soufflé. Alongside the coastline’s best oysters are handmade squid ink taglierini with WA rock lobster, his pappardelle with wild hare ragù, carpaccio of venison with forest berries, roast Hunter Valley guinea fowl with Madeira cumquats, and his tribute to Liguria’s seaside town of Livorno - a fish and shellfish stew with perfect for dipping into with warm sourdough bread.
To complement Richard’s skill and artistry, his daughter Kara Maisano has matched Masani’s cuisine and hospitality with an award-winning wine list. A graduate of the Court of Master Sommeliers, the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, and Vinitaly International Academy, Kara’s enthusiasm has further invigorated Masani’s wine list, making it an eclectic selection of wines and beverages from all over the world.
Described by the judges of the World’s Best Wine Lists 2015 as “tight, very clear, very beautifully chosen, and refreshingly unpretentious,” Masani’s list is very good on the domestic scene, with a particularly fine run of Shiraz/Syrah that includes big gun verticals of Grange, Henschke Hill of Grace, and Jasper Hill Emily’s Paddock, alongside funky “alternative varieties.”
Service is at the core of Richard and Kara’s vision, and a trip to Masani’s comes with all the trimmings for a great Italian feast.