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Bar Clarine, Melbourne

Morgan McGlone

Morgan McGlone

So you love the natural-loaded wine list at Belle's Hot Chicken, but would rather pair it with something other than fried bird? Chef-owner Morgan McGlone has the answer, in the form of a bar right next door.

"I wanted to have a place where everyone could come," he says. "We had this space next door, so we thought we'd make use of it and put a really cool wine bar in there."

Bar Clarine, slated to open in early April, won't have exactly the same wine list as Belle's. It'll come pretty close, though, with a focus on natural and sulphur-free juice, plus more fun will come in the form of lambic beers and the refreshing likes of vermouth and citrus on ice.

For a more grape-friendly food offering, McGlone will draw on his traditional European brasserie roots, with house-made cheeses and charcuterie, and vegetable dishes influenced by his stint at Husk in Charleston.

"There's going to be a lot of raw food, a lot of vegetables and we're starting to work closely with a few cool farms," he says. "We've just started making our own Manchego cheese, which we'll use for duck heart panzanella. We want to do as much as we can to keep an artisanal feel to it."

The cosy space will seat just 23, and the menu will change regularly. "It's almost going to be like cuisine de marché. The market's going to dictate what we put on the menu."

Belle's drinks master Peter Jo and Builders Arms alumnus George McCulloch are taking care of the pours. They have around 78 cuvées so far, and the list is still building, says McGlone.

We'll raise a glass of Ganevat to that.

Doors open in the first week of April. Bar Clarine, 150 Gertrude St, Fitzroy, Vic

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