Pentolina is a new Italian casual-dining restaurant, bringing the art of traditional pasta making from Rome’s winding laneways to Little Collins Street in Melbourne. It captures Italy’s passion for food, design and good company, fusing it with Melbourne’s hospitality aesthetic.

Biasol’s interior design was informed by the century-old building’s existing fabric (including hand-rendered concrete walls), historic Roman ruins and typical Italian pasta bars. Materiality and colour play an important role. The bar stools and ceiling are deep burgundy (a colour said to inspire food cravings), and the rose-coloured marble bar is reminiscent of the pink granite of ancient Rome. Terrazzo floors draw on a longstanding legacy in architecture and design, originating in sixteenth-century Italy; and scalloped Tasmanian oak lines the bar front bringing warmth.

A mix of seating captures the essence of fast-casual dining in an intimate setting. The concept enables seamless interaction between the chefs, staff and customers, with freshly made pasta consistently on display for all to see. The double-curved counter with bar stools is the central feature and evokes the nostalgia of old-school pasta bars. Spanning the length of the restaurant, it unifies the key functions of bar, cookline, pasta making and dining.

In true Italian fashion, the setting encourages guests to engage in conversation with each other and staff, while offering the opportunity to see and smell the fresh pasta being made on site.

Photography: Jack Lovel.