Italian restaurant in Melbourne: Officina Gastronomica Italiana

Officina Gastronomica Italiana chefs

This spring heralds an exciting transformation for the cherished espresso bar and bistro, Officine Zero, located in Prahran. The venue will undergo a complete rebirth, taking on a new avatar as Officina Gastronomica Italiana (OGI). The refurbishment will expand the establishment’s physical space, while also introducing an evening menu, seamlessly transitioning patrons from daytime to nighttime.

Emilia-Romagna native Claudio Casoni, the proprietor, ensures that OGI stands as a testament to true Italian authenticity and craft. The pasta, traditionally made or “fatta in casa” by a Turin native, Gabriele, along with exquisitely hand-picked Italian artisan wines curated by Florentine Front of House Manager, Armando, contribute to OGI’s authentic Italian atmosphere.

Casoni envisioned more than just an espresso bar when he first opened Officine Zero in 2014. His dream was to create a venue for sharing his passion for Italian crafts, sustainable producers, and classical hospitality with the local community. With this expansion and the renaissance of Officina Gastronomica Italiana, this vision is about to become a reality.

Upon entering, patrons will be welcomed by a central bar, coffee, and food counter, whether they’re visiting for a morning dose of espresso or an evening glass of wine. In true Roman style, patrons can enjoy their meals at tables arranged on three sides of the room, bathed in the vibrant energy of the bustling village beyond. The entire gastronomic journey is navigated under the amiable guidance of the front-of-house manager, Armando Al khatib, whose warm Italian-style hospitality has been a cornerstone of the venue’s sustained success.

Head chef Gabriele Coniglio, previously at Michelin-starred restaurants in Piemonte and known for his work at renowned Italian eateries like Caffè e Cucina, Bar Carolina, and Aromi, has designed a nonchalant yet traditional evening menu. The meals leverage the best of local produce and delectable in-house pastas. Visitors can enjoy a swift glass of wine and assaggini or revel in a leisurely night of dining and camaraderie.

OGI opens its doors for breakfast, lunch, and dinner this spring, inviting you to be a part of a truly Italian gastronomic experience.