t was while stuck in peak hour traffic on St George’s Road in North Fitzroy that chef Bryce Bernhardt noticed a for lease sign on what had been a fruit shop; it’s now new restaurant Jorg (officially opened on June 5). Bernhardt and his business partners – chef Michael Smith and front-of-house manager David Cristiano – had been looking for the right site and they found it on the busy strip.
The three owners have bought a calibre of experience to Jorg that only comes from having spent decent spans of time working in decent restaurants. Most recently Bernhardt was senior sous chef at Richmond’s Church St Enoteca; Smith was head chef at Jacques Reymond for five years; and Cristiano was at Floyd’s in Ivanhoe. What they’ve created at Jorg is a space – designed by FGR Design – that’s a clever balance of industrial edge and comfortable touches; the highlight is the original Oregon pine beams (discovered when a suspended ceiling was removed during renovations) that hang neatly in a large room softened with
olive-green banquettes, as well as the crockery in earthy browns and greens and lots of natural light.
The menu is based around the two chefs’ solid training and their French technique is evident in dishes like kingfish ceviche, goat’s cheese bavarois with pickled beetroot, or slow-cooked veal breast with sweetbreads – this is very approachable food that’s full of flavour and thoughtful textures. You can indulge in dishes to share or do entree, main and dessert if that’s how you like to dine; the beauty here is in the solid design of the menu, supported by a well priced wine list that’s primarily Australian with a few European beauties.
Never thought we’d say it but thank goodness for traffic jams...
203 St George's Road, North Fitzroy
(03) 9482 3002