Mister Bianco Location: 285 High Street, Kew, Melbourne, VIC Contact: 03 9853 6929 Mister Bianco has an offering too good to refuse – gorgeous, authentic Sicilian flavours and hearty southern Italian dishes finished with the sense of refinery that one would expect from someone of owner and chef, Joseph Vargetto’s experience. Blending modern European techniques with traditional Italian influences, Vargetto (of Langton’s, Number 8 and Mezzo fame) brings a wealth of experience and finesse to this local favourite. The restaurant falls within the fine dining category yet disposes of the pretentiousness that one might experience at fine establishments elsewhere. Service is friendly yet relaxed, the decor is intimate with white-clothed tables and low lighting, but the atmosphere oozes a pared back feel.
Mt Erica Hotel Location: 420 High Street, Prahran Victoria Contact: 03 9529 5770 Every Sunday, Mt Erica Hotel transforms into a mini festival, complete with live bands and food trucks. For decadent Sunday afternoons, a rotating variety of food and entertainment will grace Prahran to help finish off the weekend. That particular Sunday, Mt Erica hosted a range of food trucks, including Toasta, purveyor of awesome toasted sandwiches; Ghost Kitchen, pumping out Taiwanese street food; and
Kirk’s Wine Bar Location: 50 Hardware Lane, Melbourne, VIC 3000 Contact: (03) 9600 4550 One of the things that I love the most about blogging is being able to meet the passionate brains behind some pretty smashing local produce. All of us here at TFS already regularly use Cobram Estate’s olive oils in our cooking (SERIOUSLY, if you haven’t tried it, that gold-labelled, black-bottled hojiblanca magic is guaranteed to turn ANY mediocre salad into a plate of bliss), so it was a resounding ‘hell yes’ when we were asked to pop over to an intimate olive oil tasting at Kirk’s Wine Bar with Cobram Estate CEO Rob McGavin.
Bistro Bakini Location: 568 St Kilda Rd Melbourne, VIC 3004 Contact: 03 9521 7774 We were first introduced to Bistro Bakini last year by a food blogger, Ashley (of ‘I’m so Hungree’), whereupon we immediately fell in love with the restaurant’s refreshing take on fine Italian food. Headed by head Chef Luigi Buono, whose previous endeavours include Caffe e Cuccina, Vino Bar, Bond Street and Orto Kitchen and Garden, Bistro Bakini recently pushed the boundaries of Italian fare with the launch of its one-off Masters of the Mediterranean degustation menu. We attended a media night recently to preview the dinner ahead of its official launch at the restaurant.
Sartago Restaurant Bar and Grill Location: 460 Church Street, Richmond, VIC 3121 Contact: 03 9427 9063 Tucked away off the business of the Church Street strip, Sartago Restaurant Bar and Grill is a unique tapas and wine bar that serves up a range of authentic Mediterranean flavours with a twist. Headed by Tuscan Chef Riccardo Messora (of Enoteca, Cafe e Cucina, Tutto Bene and Escargot Restaurant fame), the culture-rich Sartargo boasts impeccable and friendly service, and has crafted a contemporary take on traditional cooking techniques,
Gazi Location: 2 Exhibition St, Melbourne, VIC 3000 Contact: 03 9207 7444 Gazi has emerged straight from the shadows of its stylish predecessor, The Press Club, and boy; it does not disappoint.