Paul McGivern first dreamed of opening his own wine bar after visiting Burgundy in 2010. It was another seven years before the perfect location came up. “Fish lane has always been on my radar,” says the chef and restaurateur. “Finally something popped up, and I jumped at it.”
The result is La Lune Wine Co., which opened on the weekend. The bar occupies a ground-level space in the new Melbourne Residences apartment block on Melbourne Street, but fronts Fish Lane around the back of the building. There is currently no signage (McGivern is working on it), so look out for the open glass windows with white curtains.
The small 42-seat venue has moody, darkened tones: wooden tables and chairs, a long black booth and a mixture of timber and tile flooring. The dominant feature is the open kitchen and an accompanying long, marble bar. “We encourage people to sit [at the bar],” says McGivern. “So they can talk [to the chefs] and we can get to know our customers.”
McGivern has hired Peter Moon (ex-Anise, Black Pearl Epicure) to join him in the small kitchen, which is fitted out with induction cooktops and sous-vide machines.
The menu is separated into four sections: charcuterie, raw, cheese and hot. Charcuterie features dishes such as kangaroo tartare, a terrine and cured meats. Raw involves ceviche, sashimi and the like. Five cheeses are offered, and the hot section leans towards larger plates such as lamb neck and Wagyu flank.
The wine list is by the bar manager, Olivia Evans, along with McGivern and his mate Nick Farr from By Farr Winery. Farr has actually reserved some of his vineyard just to make wines for La Lune. The results will start appearing at the beginning of next year; until then, you can sip on any of the other 120 on offer.