PROFILE BY BEST RESTAURANTS
The cafes and wine bars of Gertrude Street, Fitzroy make it an offbeat eating and drinking strip, but Cutler and Co changes the picture. It's closer to the city, for a start, it's run by a remarkable team, and it's brought every foodie in town to Fitzroy. The old building has been adapted to allow for a bar area at the front and a restaurant at the rear. The dining room features stripped-brick walls, timber floors and high ceilings with clever flounced lights which add a touch of whimsy to the space. Andrew McConnell has been responsible for some of Melbourne's liveliest eating houses – Three One Two, a stint at Circa and Cumulus Inc, to roll off a few names. His wife Pascale Gomes-McNabb is the other part of the team: she moves from table to table, with an eye on everything.
The food follows McConnell's typical style – contemporary takes on familiar dishes, with a great sense of flavour. There are hints of Spain and France in the menu, which is not large, but manages great variety. There are appetisers (oysters, anchovy pastries), and entrees that can be chosen as a selection for two. Try the version of Lyonnaise charcuterie with a frisee salad, pancetta, garlic sausage, smoked tongue and gizzards. The vegetarian dishes are excellent – a ricotta and truffled pecorino tart with caramelised Jerusalem artichokes is divine. Serious carnivores should try the kilogram rib eye. The wine list is huge, with an impressive selection of imported wines.