Known for his stylish and innovative cuisine, chef Andrew McConnell is the creative talent behind a number of successful Melbourne ventures – including the Builders Arms, Cutler & Co and Marion on Gertrude Street in Fitzroy.
His latest opening, Gimlet, takes its cue from the grand venues of Europe and the US. McConnell describes Gimlet as 'first and foremost a cocktail bar that houses a dining room'.
Andrew shares with us some of his favourite spots around Melbourne.
Meaning 'little one', Cibi may be small but it warrants a big following – and Andrew is among the fans. Find out for yourself with a delicate Japanese breakfast or a coffee, and browse the tiny ceramics and other Japanese art pieces on display.
2. Baker Bleu
Baker Bleu tops the McConnell bakery list for its long-fermented, dark-crust sourdough loaves, baguettes and bagels. Everything's kosher, and most goods are vegan. If you can't get to Caulfield North, purchase a loaf in Fitzroy from Marion or Morning Market, or at the Prahran Market from Maker & Monger. Speaking of which...
3. Prahran Market and Maker & Monger
Andrew recommends a visit to Prahran Market, a delicious hub for local produce, hard-to-find specialities, meats, cheeses and more. He gives a special nod to cheese shop Maker & Monger – known for its artisan cheeses and bang-up cheese toasties.
Melbourne's NGV is a favourite of Andrew's for a dose of creative inspiration. You too can seek out world-class international and Australian shows and superb permanent collections at the gallery's two locations: NGV International on St Kilda Road, and the Ian Potter Centre at Federation Square.
5. Gertrude Street, Fitzroy
Andrew has set up shop more than once on Gertrude Street in Fitzroy. It's where you'll find Marion, Cutler & Co and the Builders Arms among the street's many luminaries. Think of Gertrude Street as a microcosm of Fitzroy: chic, independent and creative, with just a dash of bluestone grit.