When Kiwi-born chef Hayden McMillan launched his Melbourne culinary career at Mod Euro-bistro the Roving Marrow he promptly landed the venue a Good Food Guide hat.
In March he's striking out with wife Dominique Fourie McMillan (Cutler & Co) and friend Hannah Green (both ex-Rosetta) to open Etta, an 60-seat "contemporary neighbourhood bistro" on Lygon Street near 400 Gradi. It's a team with some serious cred; can lightning strike twice?
It'll be not-quite-fine dining with a list of small-batch wines; the menu is still in development but McMillan's promising "easy, flexible" produce-focused share plates (70 per cent vegetarian) with "a less is more approach".
With the help of Fitzroy-based architect Iva Foschia the trio will turn the one-time fish and chip shop into a bar and restaurant built around a central open kitchen. A 20-seat courtyard is planned for next summer.
Etta is expected to open at 60 Lygon Street, Brunswick East, in March.