Proudly serving fine Italian dishes and sincere hospitality for 4 decades in Melbourne's Carlton, Yes! we love what we do at Masani. For that personal touch and care, join us for a memorable lunch or dinner.
Richard Maisano – Chef de Cuisine
Richard Maisano trained in Italy and Switzerland as a chef before immigrating to Melbourne, Australia. After completing his apprenticeship at the Southern Cross Hotel and Tsindos’ Florentino’s, Richard assumed a cheffing position at Carlton’s La Giaconda. In October 1983, Richard and wife Luciana, rechristened the restaurant Masani’s, bringing a refreshing take on Italian dishes & fine dining to Melbourne’s cosmopolitan and gastronomic precinct.
Specialising in regional Italian dishes, fine wines and spirits, for more than four decades Masani has become synonymous with seasonal Italian dining. Masani bestows a modern and stylish approach, with skilled service and welcoming hospitality at its core. Richard’s philosophy emphasizes seasonal fresh and local produce, crafted with classic techniques and flavours. The dining room features velvet banquettes, oil paintings by local artist Dean Holmes, a wine library, fine spirits & amaro bar with open log fireplaces.
To compliment Richard’s skill and artistry, daughter Kara has paired Masani’s dishes with an award-winning wine list and fine wine program. Alongside an esteemed wine list and cellar, Richard’s signature game and seafood dishes, farmgate meats, handmade pasta and unforgettable Swiss soufflé are just the beginning of the Masani experience.
Kara Maisano – Sommelier & Wine Director
Living a restaurant life like no other, Kara’s vinous passion and curiosities have led her to famed wine regions, wine judging and professional examinations near and far. After completing a Bachelor of Arts in Melbourne, Kara continued her pursuit of fine dining service and front of house skills at her parent’s restaurant. Once entrusted with Masani’s vintage cellar and wine list, Kara returned to study the craft of the Sommelier and Wine Professional.
As customers can attest to the tears and perseverance required to achieve the badges on her lapel, Kara’s table side anecdotes highlighted the industries esteemed titles. Kara is a graduate of the WSET Diploma, Court of Master Sommeliers and Vinitaly International Academy, alongside serving she continues to strive within her profession by associate judging at local and international wine shows, contributing to industry press & events, and as a WSET educator.
Kara’s affection for spirits, wines of all styles & colour is especially seen in her annual accolades for Masani’s wine list & menu pairings. Kara has further enriched Masani’s wine cellar and fine wine program to offer a curated yet eclectic selection of wines and beyond from all over the globe. Kara is fluent in French and Italian and has dappled in German.
Recent accolades include finalist Gault & Millau Sommelier of the Year 2018, Vin de Champagne Awards 2018, and Gourmet Traveller Wine Young Sommelier of the Year for 2018.
Masani is set in a unique neo-gothic 1880’s Victorian terrace. Designed by Inskip & Robertson, erected in 1889 for Henry William Welch, founder of the retail and drapery outlet Ball and Welch. The styling of the façade is strikingly grotesque Gothic, with machicolated cornices, Venetian windows, and intricate leadlighting complemented by distinctive gargoyles, specifically medievalised kangaroos. Venetian Gothic, the style of Carlton's 313-315 Drummond Street, was for a brief time a popular style for commercial buildings in Victorian Melbourne. Further architecturally significant buildings in this style of the late 1880s include the Melbourne Stock Exchange, the Olderfleet Building and the Rialto Building.
The building was first occupied by the newly formed Carlton Club in 1889, headed by the Honourable J. Gardiner. Comprising of “ a billiard room, reading room, card room, apartments for conversation and social gatherings, a fine dining hall and a refreshment room” reported the Carlton Gazette in 1889. The Carlton Gazette further mentioned ‘as fine a billiard room as can be found in Melbourne, in which is fixed one of Alcock’s best tables’, reincarnated today as our dining room chandeliers. The Carlton Club was significant as an expression of middle class affluence and business success in the Carlton area. By 1897 the Carlton Club occupied only part of the building, sharing it with Goldman Ironmongers and a watchmaker, J Davidson. The premises continued to be operated as shops until conversion to a restaurant in 1979. Masani’s is proud to host guests in this landmark listed premises since 1983.