333 Lygon St Carlton, VIC 305303 9347 3985
|Opening hours||Mon-Sat 11.30am-late,Sun 9.30am-6pm|
|Prices||Cheap (mains under $20)|
There's a lot of history on this site. Wine merchant James Watson opened here in 1935 and his son, Allan, took over in 1962. Robin Boyd designed the whitewashed modernist facade but the interior feels like a traditional Italian trattoria with its terracotta- tiled floor, bottle-laden timber shelves and soaring, barn-like ceiling. An affordable and decidedly homely menu works pasta and pizza favourites with love and care while a bulging wine list is rounded out with boutique beers, including White Rabbit and Little Creatures. Streetside tables are great for people-gazing and out the back there's a vast beer garden loaded with kooky charm.
Operating as a wine bar since 1935, the well-worn terracotta and timber interior is an ideal place to knock back a big Aussie fortified and be warmed by all the accumulated imbibing history.