The owners of Hawthorn’s Vaporetto love Italy, and Venice especially.
This Venetian wine bar is beneath Lido Cinemas. The name of the cinema complex is also the name of a Venetian island; one you travel to by vaporetto (“water taxi”).
They’ve gone crazy with the theme. The bar’s façade is lifted from a century-old Venetian tobacconist shop, and they have two hand-blown Murano glass chandeliers hanging over the white Carrara marble bar. Venetian masks hang from blue walls. Timber panels and shelving inspired by Venice’s Caffè Florian (the oldest cafe in the world, established in 1720) run along one side.
Sit on the red-leather banquette or one of the high-backed, brown-leather stools and order from the cicchetti menu. It changes regularly, but has in the past included sweet-and-sour sardines with fennel, truffled Sopressa salami and spanner-crab arancini. The venue is inspired by Venice’s famous Harry’s Bar, so you’ll also find Harry’s famous toasted sandwich, the pierino, made with prosciutto, Emmental cheese, cayenne and mustard. Also expect fresh seafood and lots of fresh, homemade pasta dishes.
The famous Bellini from Harry’s is also on the menu – made with prosecco and crushed white peach. Other cocktails include Vaporetto’s version of an Aperol Spritz (the “Vaperol Spritz”) made with mandarin liqueur and garnished with olives. Wine is an obvious focus, with a decent range from Italy and Australia, including three (pinot grigio, rose and sangiovese) on tap.