Neighbourhood Wine

Neighbourhood Wine, restaurant, Fitzroy North, Melbourne.
Neighbourhood Wine, restaurant, Fitzroy North, Melbourne. Photo: Ken Irwin KEN

1 Reid St Fitzroy North, VIC 3068

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Opening hours Mon - Sun 12 Noon–12 Midnight
Features Accepts bookings, Bar, Business lunch, BYO, Family friendly, Groups, Licensed, Lunch specials, Long lunch, Outdoor seating, Private dining, Romance-first date, Events
Prices Moderate (mains $20-$40)
Chef Almay Jordaan
Seats 72
Payments eftpos, AMEX, Cash, Visa, Mastercard
Phone 03 9486 8306

The back-story is compelling. an underworld gambling den, left untouched after a police bust 25 years ago. The future is equally good for Neighbourhood Wine, an easygoing wine bar and eatery that punches above its weight thanks to the combined smarts of sommelier Simon Denman and chef Almay Jordaan (ex-St Jude's). The European menu sings in the key of comfort. Start with freshly shucked briny oysters with red wine vinaigrette, an appetite-piquing trio of celeriac remoulade, fried zucchini and marinated globe artichokes, or a jelly-bound pressed pig's head terrine. Segmented chicken nails the season with a creamy stock-based sauce, roasted pumpkin and sauteed chicory; slow-cooked jumbuck on mashed potato is spruced up with jammy slices of pickled quince; desserts such as fruit crumble stick to the brief. With unfancy retro decor, comfortable bar and ever-spinning turntable, no wonder it's a home away from home for local hipsters.