First published on 23 Jun 2011. Updated on 10 Feb 2014.
White tiles meet post-industrial artworks and a smart wine list that leans lengthy and European. This is the bar jutting up against Markov Place, housed in a former bottle shop where you should definitely be eating a few zucchini flowers stuffed with mozzarella with your post-work, pre-cinema gerwurztraminer. Carlton.
Sit among the crates of wine, pick a bottle from the shelf and pay the modest mark up to drink it in-house along with whatever dish Brigitte Hafner has prepared that day. Dinner is served at the same time each night on a first-in best-dressed basis, and like a band of wine-loving orphans, Fitzroy locals filter in for daily family dinner. Fitzroy.
Taxidermy birds, a semi-industrial feel where bare boards meet a polished marble bar and a menu that takes simple Italian to an ethereal realm. This bar is a cut above before you even approach the wine list designed to bend and flex with fluidity around the myriad flavours on the table. Bright octopus carpaccio; rolled pig's head terrine with perfect little radishes – you're winning whether you're holding a glass or just a fork. Carlton.
Ease into one of the cushioned booths and pick your poison. The front bar has an old pub vibe, the middle room has a fire and Boggle, the courtyard has party lights and the staff are as chilled as the pinot gris. Brunswick East.
Three bottles of white, red or orange wines are opened according to the requests of the first customers through the door each night. These become the wines on pour which means means you'll be swirling some deeply interesting gear without having to fork out for the whole bottle. Carlton North.
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