St Ali talents launch a farm-to-fork European in St Kilda
If you missed this weekend’s farmers market but are still keen for some fresh, local produce, meet Fitzrovia.
The all-day-dining restaurant, now open in St Kilda, features a modern-European menu that changes daily with farm-to-fork seasonal produce, likely organic or biodynamic, and arriving from within 100km of the CBD.
The team: chef Paul Jewson and bubbly front-of-house manager Marco Pugnaloni. Jewson worked in the kitchens of London restaurants Mezzo, Soho House, The Bluebird and River Café before returning home to manage St Ali empire-builder Salvatore Malatesta’s Outpost in South Yarra with Pugnaloni.
The name: it pays homage to London’s West End, where the boys once lived. That, and St Kilda’s Fitrzroy Street, where the restaurant now sits in good company with Andrew McConnell’s Golden Fields, across the road from Albert Park’s southern fringe.
The split-level dining area has an Edwardian-era look, with green-and-white checked tiles, a scattering of crates of fresh produce and vases of lilies. Walk too far – past the striking glass façade and up the stairs – and you’ll land in one very open kitchen. Old bronze kitchen scales and lampshades sit behind a front counter balancing daily baked goodies.
Stop by early for grilled asparagus with Istra dry-cured bacon from Daylesford, free-range eggs, shaved fennel, crumbled fetta and mixed herb salad; or the brioche French toast with pear, frangipani and rhubarb mascarpone. From noon, maybe try some pulled pork shoulder on sourdough with apple, sour cherry and fennel chutney; a coconut chicken salad; or sticky lamb ribs with smoked corn and herb salad. For takeaway, pick up a St Ali single-origin with a blueberry and vanilla muffin.
When the sun’s out, make sure you get in earlier to secure that footpath posse, kicking off with some slow-pressed organic juice. Or stick around until after twilight and whittle away the hours with some biodynamic wine or a boutique beer.
Where: 2/155 Fitzroy St, St Kilda
When: Tue–Sun 7am–11pm
Phone: (03) 9537 0001