There are only a few matchmaking essentials that most us need to get right: your wine should match your food, your shoes should go with your pants and by god, your venue should match your occasion. Few people have proposed successfully at a kebab shop, and a four-hour degustation is a blind date crime. Sometimes, however, an establishment comes along that transcends the boundaries.
This little Fitzroy gem features traditional British fare with Mediterranean and North African influences presented with finesse. The result is an array of rich but delicately constructed small and share plates with the likes of crostini with white anchovies, aioli, parsley and roasted red peppers, or boiled egg with pork crackling. Then there’s bigger game like haunches of meat from the wood-fired oven to share amongst your friends. And who doesn’t love a haunch? It’s an unimposing and cosy venue, but with a simple sophisticated elegance. Picture a room in your own house, but dressed in its best for dinner (unless you live in a student sharehouse in which case, it’s much nicer). It’s the place where you can sit like a farmhouse cat in the courtyard on a Sunday waiting for the wood-fired roast to be ready. Go to celebrate an anniversary, or, if you have to go out with someone you don’t like, it’s the perfect place to ignore them and pay attention to your ale pudding instead.
Get your own room decked out with rustic rabbit traps, wild flowers and five courses of local produce cooked in their wood-fired oven. Numbers: 10, $65pp.