Posts Tagged Fitzroy

Gelato Heaven and a Giveaway @ Gelato Messina, Fitzroy

Gelato Messina for me always seemed like a mythical land where dreams came true. Well that’s how it appeared to a Melbourne resident who heard nothing but praise for their Sydney stores. Those cakes alone look like there is magic behind them. So, you could imagine my excitement when I received an invitation to the launch of the first Melbourne store, right in my hood. Fitzroy.

Gelato Messina Cones

Just like the Sydney stores, the Melbourne location will have 40 consistent flavours and a cabinet dedicated to rotating specials. These specials can be anything from fried chicken skin gelato to the Nicciolino – made up of white chocolate and hazelnut gelato, Frangelico soaked sponge and gianduia ganache.

On the day of the launch I was told it was going to be a seven-course gelato degustation, including savoury courses and all. I was confused but kept an open mind.

As I arrived, Hamish Blake just so happened to drop in asking if he could buy some ice cream for his hilarious and beautiful (and pregnant) wife Zoe Foster. Gelato and a Hamish Blake sighting in the one place, I was happy.

After the excitement we settled in for the first course.

gin and tonic

After tasting everything from cucumber sorbet to foie gras gelato to peanut butter powder, I have settled on two favouties from the evening. Surprisingly, one sweet and one savoury.

The savoury winner of the night was the foie gras gelato with cherry sorbet. This was just so fascinating. The gelato was creamy and rich but still managed to be sweet and perfectly balanced by the cherry. Colour me impressed.

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The sweet winner, and the dish I liked the most, was the banana split. Banana gelato, salted caramel chantilly, freeze dried raspberry crunch and peanut powder. This was divine. It was decadent, sweet, and a touch salty.  The perfect combination of flavours in my eyes.

Banana split

Looking back on the evening, I do have to say, the part of the night I enjoyed most was trying the flavours behind that beautiful counter. The degustation was fascinating and demonstrated that these guys are artists with gelato, but for me, gelato is a scoop of your favourite flavour in a cup. So when I return I’ll be reaching for the Apple Pie gelato, in a cup please sir.

The lovely people at Gelato Messina and Kate & Co PR have given me a copy of their recipe book to give away to one lucky reader. To win a copy of Gelato Messina’s cookbook, comment below and tell me which flavour of gelato you’d like to see as a special at Gelato Messina. Entries draw Monday 23rd December.

Messina cookbook

Gelato Messina Fitzroy on Urbanspoon

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Quiet Catch up @ Polly, Brunswick St, Fitzroy

My friend had just finished uni for the semester and cocktails and chats were on the cards. With both of us living in the Brunswick area, what better venue than Polly. Its cozy, its sophisticated, its reliable and its fun!

It’s impossible not to get lost in this cocktail menu. It’s about 100 cocktails long, each one as interesting and different as the one before it. Or…try your luck with the absinthe menu!

My all time favorite cocktail here is the Lemon Meringue…its limoncello, vanilla vodka, citrus and cinnamon. Its sweet, slightly tart and just heaven. It also tastes remarkably like the dessert it’s named after.

On this occasion however, I went for a more classic choice of mine and ordered an Espresso Martini. Polly really knows how to make an alcoholic cocktail. With two different types of vodka and coffee liquor, this concoction really hits the spot. Topped with beautiful coffee crema and the expected coffee beans, I was very happy!

My companion for the evening ordered a Kermit’s cocaine, which was a combination of kaffir lime and absinthe. Always opting for an adventurous choice, she was delighted with what she received.

On a Thursday night, the crowd was very small, but it does pick up over the weekend. Polly offers the perfect place for quiet conversation over seriously well put together cocktails.

 

For more information:

Polly

401 Brunswick Street

Fitzroy, Vic

(03) 9419 6539

http://pollybar.com.au/

 

 

 

 

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Coffee @ Eat Drink Man Woman, Brunswick St, Fitzroy

We all watched eagerly as the shell that once was Retro on Brunswick st began to be transformed. Now…open again it is the new elegant Eat Drink Man Woman.

This new restaurant exhibits none of its predecessor’s décor. This new room is open and light and warm. With gold’s and yellows as the feature colours, elegance is added by the stainless steel accessories, and crisp white crockery. The kitchen, still open, has been transformed by blue tiled walls and granite topped benches.  To top off the new atmosphere the wait staff are welcoming and knowledgeable.

The menu features a huge breakfast menu with toast and crumpets to baked eggs to black sausage. It goes beyond the expected with son-in-law eggs served with peanut salad and grilled roti bread as well as a Croque Madame jaffle with a fried egg.

While the dinner menu is quite small, the grilled skate with lemon butter looks delightful. The homemade pork sausages with onion relish also tempted me.  Sides feature sautéed mushrooms and roasted vegetables.

In the short half an hour I had there I only sampled the coffee. Having said that however, my soy cappuccino was beautiful…creamy, rich and strong.

Looking forward to returning to try their interesting breakfast menu!

 

For more information:

Eat, Drink, Man, Woman

413 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy

94190088

 

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Welcome home dinner @ Red Tongue, Brunswick St, Fitzroy

After a big trip to America my sister and her fiancé came home wired, excited and a little jet-lagged.

In an attempt to keep them awake til a reasonable hour we all decided to head to Brunswick St for some quiet drinks and a bite to eat.

We found ourselves at a little café called Red Tongue Café.

The menu offers a wide variety of pizzas and pastas as well as a range of other mains including burgers and salads. They also offered a small amount of entrée’s featuring dips and bread and bruschetta.

On this particular evening the open chicken souvlaki with Greek salad really appealed. When it arrived I was not disappointed. Flat pita bread was the bed for fresh salad, tzatziki and beautifully cooked juicy chicken pieces.

The others ordered the Red Tongue burger, which was huge and looked mouth watering; the fettuccini marinara and the special pizza of the night, which while quite small both looked delicious. The food was simple and well cooked; I expect it’s a very reliable venue.

For dessert most of us ordered the Café latte cheesecake as the waitress swayed us by saying she would “sell her soul for a piece of that cake” and she was not kidding. It was divine. The coffee flavour ensured it wasn’t too heavy and the chocolate base complimented the layers beautifully.

Would definitely go back to Red Tongue for good quality reliable meals.

For more information:

275 Brunswick Street

Fitzroy VIC 3065

(03) 9415 9244

http://www.redtongue.com.au/default.htm

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A cozy dinner @ The Fitz, Brunswick Street Fitzroy

Living so close to Brunswick Street it is often my go to place when I can’t decide where to eat, drink or meet friends.

While I’ve had many a drink up stairs at the Fitz and even eaten tapas upstairs at Damask Bar I hadn’t eaten at the restaurant downstairs until last week.

The atmosphere at The Fitz is very homely, with warm wooden décor and a fireplace for the winter. They set up the small restaurant space well, making it feel like you’re the only people there.

The menu takes inspiration from the Mediterranean with their entrée menu consisting mostly of tapas style items. Arancini, saganaki, bread and dips and calamari were among the options.

I shared the saganaki and the Turkish bread with hummus with a fellow diner. It was beautiful! The saganaki was the perfect level of crisp and salty with the wonderful cheese flavour still strong. Now…While its difficult to get Turkish bread and hummus wrong, the bread was fresh and just lightly toasted to give it that necessary crunch. The calamari, with a light crisp batter, was also apparently amazing.

It was my main, which really impressed me however. I had such a difficult time choosing. There are heaps of pasta and risotto options, gourmet salads as well as an array of delicious looking mains including the Fitz burger and the Moroccan chicken tagine, yet it was the Honey Chicken & Pumpkin Risotto Finished With Sugar Snaps, Cherry Tomatoes, Shaved Parmesan and Chilli Jam that really caught my eye.

It was by far the best risotto that I have ever had! The chicken was tender and moist and the beans and the tomatos created freshness often lacking in a risotto. To finish it off the Parmesan gave it a sharp intensity while the chilli jam, which was dispersed in little pockets, provided random bursts of heat and flavour.

While I was too full for dessert I did sneak a cheeky taste of both desserts ordered – the Lemon Tart and the Baked Berry Cheesecake – which were both absolutely beautiful.

The Fitz marries comfort with fine dining and arrives in the middle with satisfying and beautifully put together dishes.

Perfect for a nice occasion or when you’re in the mood for a cozy venue. A lovely night out!

For more information:

347 Brunswick St,

Fitzroy, Vic 3065

| Ph: 03 9417 5794

http://www.thefitz.com.au/

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Spontaneous night of dinner and drinks @ The Vegie Bar, Fitzroy

5pm on a Friday night…”Wanna head to Brunswick Steet?”…always a welcome question in my book! This Friday afternoon after a couple of ciders in the sun a few friends and I found ourselves at The Vegie Bar…

The Vegie Bar on Brunswick Street really is an institution. Its not only loved by vegetarians, vegans or those on gluten free diets (which are remarkably easily catered for by the marked menu) but lovers of good food in general.

On a busy evening expect to wait for a table. As usual when we arrived at about 8 on a warm Friday night, we were given a playing card and ushered out to the cute outside bar designed for the masses to wait for their tables. While there is always a wait here, before you know it and the shaggy/tattooed wait staff are back to show you to your table.

Your table, up to you of course, could be a private table, or you can join one of the large communal tables and share a meal with your fellow vegie bar lovers; simply adding to the laid back, friendly atmosphere this venue oozes.

As we took a seat at our table, we looked over the never changing, dependable menu. With a vegetarian and a gluten and dairy intolerant among our group, we were overwhelmed with choice not found at many restaurants.

It was the famous rice balls with satay sauce for most of us for entrée and we were in no means disappointed! The rice balls, perfectly crisp on the outside are filled with brown rice risotto and then drowned in satay sauce…they really couldn’t be better!

The service here is always fast friendly and accurate. The wait staff are unbelievably busy yet are still able to smile, all the while taking intolerances in without needing a pen.

However…I must say that one down fall is that alterations to the menu are not taken well. On previous occasions I have asked for corn chips on the side of my order of curry instead of the standard roti bread, as I’m gluten intolerant. I was told no from the chefs on ‘principle’. You would think a venue that is so aware of intolerances, allergies and lifestyle preferences would be willing to make the occasional alteration to the menu, yet they seem only willing to subtract not alter or add.

This Friday night however, I was served by a waitress who had slight pull with the chefs…corn chips were given on the side of my Duo of curries (Satay Chickpea Curry and the Potato and Lentil Curry) which were as always amazing!  In one, spicy lentils are mixed through with large chunks of potato to give that homemade comforting feeling, and in the other chickpeas are sautéed in the creamy satay sauce. They are served along side brown rice giving a final touch of homeliness.

The menu, while all vegetarian, is versatile. Entrees include Rice balls, Japanese Gyozas, Stuffed Mushrooms, soups, chips and nachos while the mains have various sections. There are pizzas, bugers, wraps, salads served with sides of your choice, various noodle and vegetable dishes, stir fries, curries and stews. There is bound to be something on the menu to satisfy everyone…and you wont walk away hungry from the extremely generous serves.

Finally…desserts, which come in the form of the cake fridge in the centre of the room, cater to all dietary requirements through one item or another and taste even better than they look!

What always manages to amaze me at the Vegie Bar is the bill. With a party of four, there were four entrees, four mains, three desserts and four drinks and the bill came to a grand total of $130…this place is nothing if not good value.

I highly recommend The Vegie Bar for lunch or dinner for dependably great food!!

For more information:

380 Brunswick St
Fitzroy VIC 3065
(03) 9417 6935

www.vegiebar.com.au/

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New Years Eve @ Little Creatures Dinning Hall, Fitzroy

When a friend of mine suggested heading to Little Creatures on Brunswick Street for New Years Eve I was intrigued. She sold me when she said that they were turning the whole place into a retro backyard BBQ…

“A table for 20 under Amy?” I asked the man at the grey concrete wall that is the entrance to Little Creatures Dinning Hall. His response… “…head inside and look for the guy dressed as Warwick Capper who can show you to your table”… I felt a small smile appear on my face. This smile only grew as we walked in to see the usually spacious venue filled with overflowing booths and tables, fake grass with 80’s pool lounges and countless coloured beach umbrellas! The place looked like a beach party and the atmosphere matched. The Melbourne heat that night only helped.

 

As we all settled in it was time to head to the busy bar for a drink. As someone who suffers from gluten intolerance beer is obviously not an option, yet I do have to say Little Creatures Pipsqueak Cider is a welcome choice! I don’t have to be at little creatures to order a Pipsqueak. I love that it manages to be light and not too sweet at the same time. As the icy bubbles hit my lips it felt like summer! For those of you who know the venue you would know that spirits are not on offer, so it was cider and beer all round in the 40 degree heat.

For those who don’t like beer or cider, don’t worry you will not go without a drink! Sparkling, white and red wines are available by the glass and by the bottle.

Now…to the menu.

Little Creatures has great beer drinking menu…

The snacks are a ‘go to’ option here with nuts, olives, onion rings, chips and even corn cobs on offer. The Gourmet pizzas include the Chorizo, Sweet Corn and Feta pizza and the Kipfler Potato, Rosemary and taleggio Pizza and while I’ve never been able to try the pizza myself, I have been told on good authority they are amazing. Platters, Dahl, calamari salads, mussels and pork ribs fill the shared section with mains including fish and chips, steak, lamb shanks and a vegie tart of pumpkin and goats cheese. Across the board you could easily get a meal for under $20. For a few laid back drinks with friends, dinner or a quick snack, you shouldn’t leave here disappointed.

As a gluten free patron I was a little worried looking at the menu…so I just did what I am all too used to doing and asked the waitress for help. She was more than happy to help and knew what was suitable without having to ask the kitchen.

I will admit that on other occasions I’ve had mixed experiences with the service. Wine recommendations and smiles one day and cold indifference the next. Your experience seems to come down to who is serving you on the day.  I will add a word of warning…they close early (11 on week nights and 12 on Friday onwards) and are not afraid to literally kick you out if you are still there.

Back to NYE…I decided on the pan-fried calamari, citrus and fennel salad and it exceeded my expectations. With the calamari pieces covered in chilli and spice they packed quite a punch. The interesting taste sensation came when the citrus came in and offered refreshing sweetness to the fire in my mouth. Drinking cider and eating seafood in the 40 degree heat did make it feel like we could have had had our toes in the sand and water washing over our feet.

Before I got a chance to look at my watch the waitress was back with party poppers for everyone and the count down was upon us. The hundreds of patrons together sung in the New Year in the same joyful way we had spent the evening and it wasn’t until we stepped back out onto the dark pavement of Fitzroy that I remembered I wasn’t on a beach holiday.

For more info:

Little Creatures Dinning Hall
222 Brunswick St
Fitzroy Victoria 3065
(03) 9417 5500

https://www.littlecreatures.com.au/

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atopnotchwhine

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