172-174 Faraday Street Carlton, VIC 3053
|Opening hours||Wed 4-11pm; Thu-Mon noon-11pm|
|Features||Accepts bookings, Bar, Business lunch, Groups, Licensed, Private dining, Wheelchair access|
|Prices||Moderate (mains $20-$40)|
|Payments||eftpos, AMEX, Visa, Mastercard|
|Phone||03 9347 2626|
There's something terribly civilised about a smartly dressed outdoor table, a warm tranche of chicken and pistachio terrine and a glass of chilled chablis on a mild Carlton evening. Inside awaits a tiered space of wine cabinets, mysterious staircases and gleaming white tiles. It's enchanting. So, too, the service. witty, warm and knowledgeable. The menu opens with 'wine food' (booze-friendly bites) before heading into more complex territory. Fried mussels, sweet clams and tender cuttlefish might nestle into a silky ginger custard and spiced carrot broth while a melange of tomatoes might come with olive crumbs and a luscious buffalo mozzarella ice-cream. Cubes of compressed pork shoulder partner with rainbow chard and turnips, and golden, slippery pappardelle complements sweet lamb and vegetable ragout. Frozen quince parfait with coconut meringue and tart mandarin begs for something from the 'stickies' page of the stellar wine list.