aving recently run Melbourne-based events under the guise of the 36 Collective, business partners Manu Potoi (ex-Stokehouse and Attica) and Casey Wall (ex-Cutler & Co. and The Spotted Pig, NYC) are having fun with their new space on Smith Street.
Formerly Provenance Food and Wine, the room has been transformed by designer Nicola Dovey into a cool mix of diner meets bar.
With a no reservations policy and seating up to 50, head chef Wall hopes to offer an approachable vibe where people can simply eat, drink or do both. In fact, Wall says he aims to “close the gap between the pub meal and fine dining”, offering patrons share-friendly dishes for under $20.
Citing American and European influences in the kitchen, he isn’t afraid to label the menu as Australian, going to great efforts to source local produce. Expect pressed rib and slaw baguettes or beef tongue with confit potato, beetroot and horseradish. The meals are beautifully complemented by a considered beer list that includes a limited release Mountain Goat Naz Porter on tap.
While Huxtaburger continues to charge forward at the southern end of Smith, Rockwell offers a more than decent double patty seeded bun, complete with melted Kraft cheese and special sauce (warning: it’s big enough for two).
A short value-for-money wine list, to be rotated regularly, can see you sipping white burgundy for about $60 a bottle. Spirits are also available.
Weekend brunch will be served with a Clark St Roasters blend, with street-side tables sure to be a hit in warmer months.
Rockwell and Sons
288 Smith Street, Fitzroy
(03) 8415 0700
Mon, Wed & Thurs 11.30am–3.30pm, 5.30pm–1pm
Fri 11.30am–3.30pm, 5.30pm–midnight
Sat 9am–3.30pm, 5.30pm–midnight
Sun 9am–3.30pm, 5.30pm–10pm