So. I've been totally hanging out to get back to Gorski and Jones to try out dinner. An opportunity arose recently. A Saturday night. A friend's band playing at Godzilla Bar in Clifton Hill. It seemed perfect….
Until I saw the sign that said they were closed for a private function. Curses! But I'll still be back!
This left us in a little debacle. Where to go? Drive down the other end of Smith to some of my other favourites? Or see if there's something closer in Clifton Hill?
Oh well, what about Cavallero?
So 'forced' into Cavallero were we. /yodamode
With lights low, it's easy to walk by and think it would be closed if you weren't looking at it.
It's been on Smith Street for a while and thus, is indeed, very Smith Street, cool, kinda warehouse-y but incredibly laid back. Tables and booths at the front, communal and smaller tables at the back (where we were), it was a sparsely decorated, but cosy space to be in.
This is what Doctor's-to-be (Doctor of Philosophy that is), look like when perusing the drinks menu. Why so serious?!
A comforting White Rabbit dark ale for Brad in this bitey weather and for me…I couldn't tear my eyes from the Lady Grey Martini that graced the cocktail page. As the menu states 'For those times when you should be drinking tea but you really just feel like a martini…' this is indeed your drink. An incredibly strong, lively and aromatic tea-infused plymouth gin, with a twisty punch of citrus. I think more high tea places need to take notice. Possibly just perfect.
Comfort food seemed to be the prescription for the evening and Cavallero did not let us down.
A roasted butternut pumpkin risotto with crispy sage, taleggio and truffled honey for Brad. A gorgeous golden colour, with micro herbs sprinkled over the top for a little contrast. Made it look like Autumn. Smelling amazing, it certainly delivered, and was a creamy, dense and rich risotto. The sweetness of the pumpkin was allowed to come through, complimented by the truffled honey. Whilst I was invited for one bite from Brad…I may have snuck in two. Or three.
I was hoping for something not too heavy, as I had been eating quite heavily in general (but what else is new), but for whatever reason I still decided to have the pan fried gnocchi with gorgonzola, toasted walnuts, apple julienne and green basil cress.
Ah, how perfect a choice it was though. I loved that the portion wasn't giant or too heavy, the gorgonzola not swamping the delightfully fluffy and creamy gnocchi. But oh, how the mouth swooned to be in a warm blue cheese heaven. Roasted walnuts crunched, in contrast to the pillowy gnocchi and I just adored the sweetness of the apple to add a hint of freshness.
I was charmed. Tickled. Renewed with adoration for Smith Street. Gorgeous warm food, partnered with friendly attentive service and cocktails perfect for any girly night, I'm excited to pop by during breakfast sometime and see how the place transforms.
It wouldn't be a crime to have martinis in the morning...surely?
I mentioned Godzilla bar earlier. "What is this aptly awesomely named bar? And why haven't I heard of it before?"
It's in Clifton Hill. It's only open on Saturdays. It's only around for 10 weeks.
There is no signage. It may be illegal. It probably is. There's a door on a side street with a guy standing outside of it who will open it up if you give him a knowing nod and smile.
I won't spoil the surprise too much, but at the entrance you're given a candle lit path to follow…around a room that looks like Godzilla has trampled through. Complete with sound effects.
The bar is shitty, but so right. It looks like it could collapse on itself any minute, but it's so good. The drinks are cheap, the bands are free. We were there one Saturday to watch our friend's new band 'Going Swimming' play some punchy, beachy punk rock stuff. They like smoke machines in there.
It's only around for a couple more Saturdays. So free one up and explore the unknown, have some drinks, bop along to some rock…and get some grub at Cavallero first.
Oh. And I found the Jesus guitar. HAIL IT'S SHINY!
300 Smith Street
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Rear of 137 Queens Parade
(enter via Gold Street)