382 Sydney Road Brunswick, VIC 3056
Long before Albert St opened in this swish, high-ceilinged converted bank, the food world was abuzz. This was to be a restaurant, cafe, wine bar, bottle shop and provedore rolled into one all-day-trading emporium. Big names were at play: owners Stuart Brookshaw (ex-Bondi Icebergs) and Ruth Giffney (ex-Longrain), and chef Philippa Sibley (ex-Est Est Est and Circa). Locals mobbed the large, warehouse-like timbered space. Others travelled to grab a stool at high bar tables or settle into the adjacent restaurant to share charcuterie of pistachio-crusted salami or prosciutto with tart-sweet house pickles and rough-hewn grissini. The food runs from pastas (pliant potato gnocchi with sticky, fall-apart organic veal, saffron and peas) to pizzas (mushroom and taleggio on light, thin crusts) to classic Western Plains pork coteletta. Then there's dessert: signature sauternes creme caramel; the pristine, unadorned Meyer lemon tart; or strawberries with tangy balsamic icecream, baby basil and crunchy meringue. Albert St's a hit, set to become a classic.