Thursday, May 28, 2009

Cutler & Co (Fitzroy) 09

This great barn of a place, probably built as a warehouse, has been transformed featuring white bare brick walls, modern low energy lighting,

padded comfortable chairs, a long padded bench seat along one wall and
plain unclothed tables a little to close to each other set with an eclectic set of knives.

These were not all mine.. The space is split into three areas. A large bar occupies most of the entrance area and there are two large open dining spaces.
Service is exceptionally obliging. We started with two entrees - hand dived Coffin Bay scallops, artichoke soup, migas, crusty bread and almond milk.

This was a great combination. The almond milk was rich and creamy and had a delicate fragrance. It mixed wonderfully with the delicate, lightly cooked scallops and the soup. ($18) The wood grilled quail, foie gras parfait, celeriac and golden raisins was perhaps the best quails I have ever eaten.

It also had some roasted almonds, spring onions and baby broccoli leaves- some one must have had fun in the kitchen! A brilliant dish, the quails tender, moist matched well with the small cigars of foie gras and the textural variation of the vegetables. Not so simple but simply superb. ($22). Wood grilled rock flat head with sauerkraut, just a dash of it, oyster and farm house smoked bacon ($39)

was more interesting than outstanding and expensive. Sauteed wild mushrooms, flaky pastry,white onion and fresh burrata ($28)

was a vegetarian entree size main. Dry aged 1 Kg Angus beef rib eye, wood grilled on the bone over Mallee root, served with shaved fennel, orange and dried chilli salad ($140) to share.

This came with a seed mustard, a Dijon mustard and a creamy mild horseradish sauce as well as a fabulous wine sauce - a reduction of Madeira, shallots, star anise, and ginger. An excellent rib eye made great by the accompaniments although the meat came to the table very cool and had to be reheated, and slightly more cooked as a result. Steamed Kiffler potatoes with chive butter ($8) were very good as was the cabbage and fennel salad. A chocolate ice cream sandwich ($16) was about average

as was the steamed pear and suet pudding with liquorice ice cream ($17),

the flavour of the month. The house made bread is almost irresistible and a request for more butter was fulfilled with heaps more! Tea is serve din an imprssive service.
An Italian Sorelle prosecco was very poor($65) and not improved by the generous addition of a little cassis. Heathcote shiraz by the glass ($15) was even worse but gladly replaced by a French bordeaux.
All in all a superior meal putting this restaurant at 55 Gertrude St Fitzroy, in the two hat class.
Score 17/20

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