Spanish plates hits the roof, with cocktails to match
From Jesse and Vanessa Gerner – the duo behind Fitzroy’s pumping tapas haunt, Añada – comes The Aylesbury, a snazzy new restaurant and rooftop bar in the CBD.
You’ll find The Aylesbury on Lonsdale St, supplanting the short-lived ICarusi sequel, Barbagallo Trattoria e Pizzeria. You might start at the restaurant down beneath; but post-work it doesn’t get much better than their rooftop bar, perched high above on the fifth floor.
With Spanish hints evident, the menu appreciates organic, home-grown produce and rare-breed meats. Heritage and heirloom veggies from Jesse and Vanessa’s own garden join local, seasonal produce (some of which is cured, smoked and pickled onsite) for small plates, larger sharing ones and a feasting menu. There are also Spanish staples like piquillo peppers, Joselito ‘Gran Reserva’ jamon Iberico and morcilla with broad beans.
With lunch starting this week – a menu that’s more pan-European that its evening counterpart – midday diners can head here for two courses with tea or coffee and petit fours for $35: perhaps fried Spring Bay mussels with walnut taratour or duck neck sausage with quince aioli before, say, barramundi with rainbow chard or a dry-aged Belted Galloway roast beef with horseradish and curd.
Come evening, go after magnificent city views by migrating to the rooftop for small plates and a succinct list of eight cocktails, divided neatly into ‘before’, ‘after’ and ‘whenevs’ (with classics on request). All emerge from behind an ironbark concave bar with bare light-globes overhead. A Sherry Cobbler mixes Paolo Cortado ‘La Regente’ sherry with orange chunks and lemon sugar or, more fittingly, a Melbhattan with VSOP Cognac, Dolin sweet vermouth and bitters. For good measure, put in your order for some Coffin Bay oysters with strawberry mignonette.
Bookings are taken for groups of six or more or for lunch. Open just in time for spring, this one will be a fantastic post-races landing or pre-night-out launch pad.
Where: 103 Lonsdale St, Melbourne
When: Lunch Mon-Fri noon-3pm | Mon-Sun 5pm–late | Rooftop open from 5pm
Phone: (03) 9077 0451