Saint Peter's5/17/2012 01:05:00 PM
Saint Peter's Bar & Restaurant
6 Melbourne Place
Melbourne, VIC 3000
Ph (03) 9663-9882
On a Friday night a few weeks ago, we caught up with my good family friend Richard for dinner at Saint Peter's. I was running a bit late, and being flustered from the incredibly crowded Friday-night-trams, I didn't take much notice of the location or the setting when I arrived. It took me a good couple of hours to realise that they'd taken over the space previously occupied by the Canary Club. Oh, when did that happen? Almost two years ago? Whoops.
First on the agenda was a lovely refreshing aperitivo - blood orange bellini. Salute! Here's to the weekend.
|Blood orange bellini|
|Calamari ripieni di gamberi - Baby calamari filled with Queensland banana prawns, dusted in flour & rosemary salt, shallow fried & served with roasted peppers - $16|
|Bresaola with fresh figs, rocket, parmesan and grissini - $14|
|Bruschetta di pomodoro - Char-grilled housemade sourdough bread with vine ripened tomatoes, mum’s fresh basil & locally produced mozzarella ‘burrata’ - $12|
And here are the mains! We were told that the meals here are based on local, seasonal, sustainable ingredients, but I must admit, we were most struck by the incredibly generous portions!
I loved the gutsy presentation of the cotolette Milanese: one plate, one massive crumbed veal chop, and half a lemon. Simple, and fantastic. My pasta was delicious too - the tumble of tagliatelle, which had been hand made "about three hours ago", had soaked up all that gorgeous, briny seafood taste from the sauce, and was studded with big chunks of super-fresh Balmain bugs. It was a really big serving though, and I could only manage about half the plate - luckily my Dad swooped in and finished up the rest, despite having eaten that ginormous chicken alla cacciatora! Woah! Good work Dad! The minestrone was well made, and very substantial, although you'd probably get better value for money ordering one of the other mains.
|Insalata di arance e finocchio - Fennel, orange & mixed leaf salad - $9|
Patate fritte - Triple cooked house cut chunky potatoes with rosemary & garlic - $9
As with the entrees, we shared three desserts between us.
|Panna Cotta - $15|
|Torta di arance - Sicilian almond & orange cake served with housemade vanilla bean ice cream - $14|
|House made tiramisu - $15|
The tiramisu was so good, with a great balance of coffee and alcohol. Just quietly, I would have been happy skipping the other desserts and just inhaling a massive bowl of that tiramisu!
I think the meals at St Peters are very well priced, especially considering the portion size and the quality of the meals. (Full disclosure: our friend Richard shouted us dinner and he happens to be friends with floor manager Sebastian, so it is possible he got a discount. However, I still think the prices are great, irrespective of any discount he may have been given!) Despite being very busy, all our meals and drinks were brought out promptly, and as far as I could see, walk-ins were welcomed in a reasonable time frame. (This is a pet peeve of mine, so I always take notice of this when I go out).
From what I can gather from discussions with friends and reading other blogs, St Peters seems to have changed quite a bit since it first opened, and for the better. The tablecloths and small portions of cheffy food (apparently of variable quality) are gone - now the food is rustic, simple, and served in very generous portions, for more of a casual trattoria feel. (See posts from 2011 from Melbourne Culinary Journal, I Eat Therefore I Am, and I'm So Hungree for a comparison). We had a great night, and I'd happily come back again.