We'll forgive you if you don't know Joe Mammone by name, but to not have dined at one of his restaurants is a crime of negligence to your taste buds. The Melbourne restaurateur, who co-owns Melbourne dining rooms Il Bacaro and Sarti, has ventured outside of the CBD for the first time, opening Bar Carolina on Toorack Road in South Yarra.

Mammone aims to inject high standard Italian bistro dining to the south Melbourne suburb. "You can expect much more to come out of the top end of Toorak Road in the very near future, and I'm thrilled that Bar Carolina will be a key part of it," he said.

South Yarra just scored a delicious dose of Italian dining

Dining guests can expect a contemporary Italian menu with a bit of a twist. Put in the safe hands of Paolo Masciopinto, head chef at Satri who has also cooked at Grossi Florentino and was the head chef for Giorgio Locatelli in London - he lives and breathes Italian food, with a philosophy that promises fresh pasta and fresh produce in robust and vibrant dishes.

Mouth-wateringly delicious menu highlights include tagliolini with Morton bay bugs, porcini and dried chili, and braised baby goat with broad beans and shaved salted ricotta. And for vegetarians who are sick of standard side-salad dishes, how does beetroot-filled ravioli with goats cheese and poppy seeds sound? Desert is a dish not to be missed at Bar Carolina, serving tiramisu style desert encased within an orb of white chocolate.

South Yarra just scored a delicious dose of Italian dining

The wine list is seriously impressive, serving over 100 Italian grape variety wines among a selection of local wines. The drinks menu is also injected with Italian spirits Meletti (similar to Montenegro, but smoother) and Capo Capo which is rarely seen in Australian restaurants. The interiors are a mix of neo-classic and contemporary, with a small courtyard at the rear for alfresco dining.

Bar Carolina
Where: 44 Toorak Road, South Yarra (on the corner of Caroline Street)
Open: 5.30pm-10.00pm Mondays and Tuesdays, 11.30am-10.00pm Wednesday - Saturday. Closed on Sundays

South Yarra just scored a delicious dose of Italian dining