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There aren’t a lot of bars that embody the tenets of hospitality as well as Gerald’s. That’s because there aren’t a lot of booze dons like its owners, Gerald Diffey and Mario Di Ienno. They are gents, scholars and rascals. They’re philosophers; ardent admirers of a good pork chop and a solid bar; and takers of very little shit. The pair have let their trusty crew take a stronger grip on the reins of late while they oversee things here and at their new restaurant, Brooks, but this Rathdowne Village wine bar remains a warm, woody champion of Motown, beautiful drinks, and service, service, service.

They let whoever first wanders into the bar of a night open bottles of whatever from the far-reaching and local-championing wine list, and those first three, say, Burgundies and rieslings, become the by-the-glass selection.

Your wine typically comes with a recommendation, a back-story and if they like you, a practical joke. If, however, you prefer to be left in peace to mull over a chilled Chablis, they will unobtrusively and promptly fill your glass with the ghostly discretion of an Edwardian butler. As such, the bar is a sanctuary for industry professionals, writers and food fans.

Eats are simple. They’re scribbled daily on butchers paper on a ladder behind the bar. White anchovies; prosciutto cut into translucent sheets on a big, red, hand-cranked slicer; or maybe one of those pork chops cooked in cider. This is a bar that supports the community that religiously fills its seats, serving beers from local brewers Three Ravens alongside smashable Spanish Moritz lagers. In winter there are puffer jackets so you can sit outside. In summer there are gin and tonics ready before you’ve asked. That’s good bartending. That’s Gerald’s.

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Updated on 5 Nov 2014.

By Gemima Cody   |  

Gerald's Bar details

Address
386 Rathdowne St, Carlton North 3054

Telephone 03 9349 4748

Price per person including drinks $51 to $100

Open Mon-Sat 5-11pm

Gerald's Bar map

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