No word best summarises the bitter sweet moment of success. All the hard work, long nights, set-backs and sweat and tears had all been worth it. Whether it’s a promotion, successfully guiding a start-up to profit, exceeding project targets or a significant personal milestone; these moments need to be celebrated.
With the dinner list confirmed and narrowing down the perfect attire, your attention turns to the question of what restaurant to hold such an occasion. It needs to be a fabulous restaurant with delicious food, well-crafted cocktails and a lovely ambiance without the onslaught of hipsters. All nicely packaged in a picturesque setting accessible to all attendees.
The north side is struck out. The grunge and rawness of Collingwood/Fitzroy is not the vibrant setting you visualised. You move your thoughts to the south side, and in particular St Kilda, but where? Searching through the options on Urban Spoon and notable food blogs you come across Miss Fitzy’s on Fitzroy Street. It’s sassy not flashy – vibrant and relaxed.
You pop up a bar stool at Miss Fitzy’s with friends arriving moments later for a celebratory pre-drink. To start the proceedings on the right foot, you peruse the cocktail menu that has been crafted by bar manager Possi (Barney Allens, Port Phillip Estate, Stanley St Merchant, Salsa Bar and Grill Port Douglas). Perhaps you start with a Countess Negroni – Campari, Westwinds’ The Sabre’ Gin, punt de Mes. Alternatively, The Selma – Tequila, housemade blood orange marmalade, fresh orange juice, orange and clove zest is perfect for a summers day.
Everybody is chatting as the bar area is buzzing with conversation and catching up on the latest going-ons. Some might venture to the front alfresco dining area to take in the warm sun and the beach air. The executive maître d’, Freddy Hermara (Dandelion, Acland St Cantina, Enoteca Sileno) kindly notifies that the table is ready.
Going through the menu, the waiter explains that Miss Fitzy’s prides itself on sourcing some of the best local produces and adopts a philosophy of paddock-to-plate. The menu is French inspired with strong Spanish influences, with all dishes prepared in-house under the direction of head chef Lachy Cashman (Circa, Sloaney Pony, Salsa Bar and Grill Port Douglas). You learn that the menu is based on sharing with a strong range of small and large share plates. The wine list is designed and tested to be matched with all meals, be it red or white.
It’s a tough decision for the table. Catering for all needs and dietary requirements, the menu reads with a number of delicious sharing plate options. Starting with the Organic tomato, buffalo mozzarella, herbs (V) (GF) [$15] immediately sets the bar high in terms of exceptional produce. The heirloom tomatoes and goats cheese were fresh, vibrant and plated magnificently.
To ensure the boys are satisfied, Roasted squid, chorizo, parsley, pickled onion (GF) [$16] & Smoked chicken wings, pork belly, mustard fruits (GF) [$16] were order for the table. The meat combination of both dishes excited the table, especially the squid and chorizo which were exceptional succulent and married well. The chicken was soft and tender as the smoky flavours were clearly identifiable – complemented the succulent pork belly pieces.
Then out of nowhere – and arguably one of the favourite sharing plates – Grilled Robbins Island Wagyu bavette steak, herbs, potato, egg [$20]. Combining the poached quail eggs with the wagyu bavette steak tasted heavenly.
Following up is the palate cleanser before the family style shared mains, Steamed goats’ cheese, beetroot, quinoa, hazelnut (V) [$14.5]. The smokey flavours from the goats’s cheese are succulent and matched strongly with the beetroot and hazelnut.
With the table impressed by the quality of various shared plates, deciding on what family style shared main to experience makes for some tough choices. With a big enough appetite, the easiest decision is to order all three.
The whole 1kg crispy fried snapper, asparagus, sauce grenobloise [$75] is a dish that Chef Lachy Cashman shows off his skill set. The snapper is clean, scaled, de-boned and then – with a secret technique and a lot of skill – mended back together. It’s then crispy fried and served as a whole fish, ready for ripe pickings around the table. The taste of the fish was exceptional, the crispy flavour combined well with the soft fish meat. Combining with the sauce and the tomatoes made for an intense but quite enjoyable taste.
Followed with the Smoked Saskia Beer corn fed chicken, roasted celeriac, brussel sproutsis quite the contrast as the table notices the strong and surprising flavours from the Chicken. Chef Lachy has his own purpose built smoker and isn’t afraid to push the taste boundaries to surprise patrons. The super soft chicken is a delight with hints of beer flavour appearing on the back of the palate. It is the ideal dish for those after a lighter main.
And finally, considered by some as the centre-piece of the family main menu, the Cape Grim Black Angus 2+ tri tip, charred onions, roasted carrots, duck fat potato [500 gm $40 & 1kg $80]. This dish couldn’t fault as the Cape Grim Black Angus was succulent as the meat effortlessly melts in your mouth. The roasted carrots and duck fat potatoes were outstanding. The multi-stage cooking process allowed the veggies to have an alluring glazed exterior. Accompanying with the delicious serving sauce, the perfectly caramelised and super soft vegetables were just as good as the meat itself.
With stomachs just about full, it would be wrong not to sample the Dessert tasting plate (minimum two person): Bitter chocolate, olive oil & peanut brittle, brown butter sherbet, Brioche pain perdu, blood orange marmalade, orange chocolate sorbet & Rhubarb & pear jelly, puff pastry, prune and armagnac ice cream [$15 pp].
As the group say their goodbyes and friends depart home, you can’t help but be a little chuffed on planning a great dinner party. But wait, you already know this. Reservations have already been made for next Saturday night.
23 Fitzroy St, St Kilda
Tues – Wed: 4pm till late
Thurs – Sun: 12pm till late
Main menu served from
12pm – 3pm and 6pm – 10pm
Bar menu all day till close