68. FITZROY TOWN HALL HOTEL, FITZROY, MELBOURNE: BEST IN IT’S CLASS
Chef Sean Donovan lifts the Fitzroy Town Hall Hotel dining room from great to something truly extraordinary.
While it’s very much a pub at heart — for Sean Donovan is a man who knows how to deliver good pub in spades — it’s the dining room at the reborn Fitzroy Town Hall Hotel where best-in-class shines bright. It’s where the cutlery is hefty, the napkins linen, the service knowledgeable and the worldly wine list well priced.
It’s where a swollen pouch of burrata with strands of zucchini charred by the grill is a sublime way to start, and a bracingly sharp tarte au citron with equally tart raspberry sorbet an eye-opening way to end.
It’s where the red gum barbecue gets fired up on an extensive selection of name-checked beef to create some of the state’s best steaks, but where an Asian accented medley of raw fish, or Moorish-spiced cauliflower fritters with baba ganoush, show influences extend further than our back door.
It’s where the beer is cold, the welcome warm, and the food unbeatable value. Be still our beating heart.
Must eat dish: burrata