Lunch Wed-Sat noon-3pm, Sun noon-4pm;
Dinner Tue-Sat 5pm-9.30pm
Three guys with fine-dining experience walk into a North Fitzroy pub. The punchline? A local with all its hospitality fundamentals in place, a cracker of a wine list and a menu that includes name-brand steak (Hopkins River, O'Connor) with chips and snags with barbecued onions alongside more complex dishes like superb blood pudding and tortellini in a smoked duck consommé. Grossi Florentino alumni Joe Durrant and Mark Protheroe are front of house, ensuring smooth attentive service, while chef Steven Nelson (of Bistro Gitan) delivers a menu big on both flavour and classic technique. Baked scallops with salmon mousse may bring about 1980s flashbacks, but a veal tartare with pickled radish and a wasabi rouille or a mascarpone cheesecake with elderflower granita feel just about right now. A little something for everybody then, plus a bottle shop that includes aged gems from sommelier Protheroe's own cellar. Now that's a punchline.