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Happening Hobart

Dier Makr's eucalypt-spiked lamb

Dier Makr's eucalypt-spiked lamb

Hobart is enjoying a wave of CBD restaurant openings. Add these to the top of your list.

Kobi Ruzicka and Sarah Fitzsimmons visited Hobart in January 2016 while they were also looking for a new restaurant site back home in Melbourne. "We joked about doing something down here instead," Ruzicka says. "People seemed to be open to new ideas and we sensed a strong community." The joke turned serious and Dier Makr (pronounced die-er maker) is the result, and Ruzicka's produce-driven dishes, such as oysters dressed with buttermilk, cos with miso and black pumpkin seed, and char-grilled eucalypt-spiked lamb, are the drawcard, along with some interesting wines and cocktails.

Meanwhile, Vue de Monde-trained chef Oskar Rossi has come home to Tasmania with his Italian partner Frederica Andrisani to open Fico. They're serving two house-made pastas each day- linguine with crab and tarragon is a summer favourite- plus a seasonal risotto for two cooked à la minute. These are complemented by a short à la carte menu featuring the likes of fromage de tête or stuffed roasted quail, and a specials board for those moments when two or three game birds, or other rarities, become available.

A few blocks north, Ettie's is contributing to that great trend: roast chook. It's the star dish, along with a brilliant crème caramel, on a menu of gently reinterpreted classics. And speaking of classics, perhaps the ultimate French chef's chef, Alain Passard, of three-starred Paris restaurant L'Arpège is headed to Tassie, too. In March, he'll head Down Under for the first time thanks to the Launceston campus of TasTAFE where he'll cook lunch, dinner and host a masterclass as part of their Great Chefs Series.

Dier Makr, 123 Collins St, Hobart, (03) 6288 8910; Fico, 151 Macquarie St, Hobart, (03) 6245 3391; Ettie's, 100 Elizabeth St, Hobart, (03) 6231 1165.

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