Di Stasio Città Restaurant

Restaurant, art gallery, institution, homage to brutalist design. Città is a dining experience that indulges all the senses. 

In Melbourne, Rinaldo Di Stasio’s name is synonymous with fine dining – Italian style. For his latest venture, we wanted to reflect that DNA as well as his reputation as one of the city’s leading arts patrons. Yet we still wanted to create something with a personality all its own.

Città has no sign or building number. Instead, tinted glass doors flood the entrance with a red glow. A hidden button that opens the doors and a narrowing vestibule that leads to the dining room both add to the sense of theatre.

The venue features works by seminal Australian artists, including striking projections of Shaun Gladwell’s The Lacrima Chair and Reko Rennie’s OA_RR on Città’s hand-plastered, stucco walls, which give the space such a textured, tactile feel. Rennie’s billboard-sized public artwork, Visible Invisible, is also on display to the footpath. 

During the design process, we modelled the slab-sided entrance in plywood, at full size, so we could actually experience the impact of our concept. This painstaking process and our close partnership with Di Stasio mean every detail here serves his singular vision for Città – a restaurant that looks and feels like no other.


Rinaldo Di Stasio


Wurundjeri Country
Melbourne, Australia






90 seats

Design team

Di Ritter, Bronwyn Uphill


Peter Bennetts
The Lacrima Chair by Shaun Gladwell

OA_RR by Reko Rennie

It’s not often a place upends your understanding of what a restaurant can or should be.”


The third restaurant for the Di Stasio team — a name synonymous in Melbourne with fine dining, Italian style. We wanted to imbue the interiors with owners Rinaldo Di Stasio’s and Mallory Wall’s renown as two of the city’s leading art patrons. We also wanted to create a truly distinct and unconventional dining experience.

Di Stasio Carlton’s dramatic yet seamless blend of exaggerated proportions, contemporary Australian artworks and Italian architectural features — including an original 1950s terrazzo floor and, in the courtyard, a 17th-century Roman fountain — combine to create a truly unique dining experience.

Di Stasio Carlton is the essence of Melbourne food culture, and the soul of Carlton.”

— 2022 Eat Drink Design Awards Jury

Inside, a theatrical adventure unfolds in a series of three contrasting rooms inter-connected by portals lined in pressed metal that end at the threshold to an outdoor oasis. Inspired by Di Stasio’s childhood memories of Italian gardens in 1960s Melbourne, the courtyard is a treasure of surprise and delight, dotted with swan planters, antique urns and the ancient Roman fountain, which takes centre stage.


  • 2020 Australian Interior Design Awards (AIDA) - Premier Award (highest honour)
  • 2020 AIDA - Hospitality Design Award (joint winner)
  • 2020 AIDA - Best of State Prize for Commercial Design
  • 2020 Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Awards - New Restaurant of the Year + Best Design
  • 2019 Eat Drink Design Awards - Best Restaurant Design

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