Verve Restaurant & Bar
Shane Hansen can’t get enough of cider. In a world where craft beer is king, Hansen’s made Verve Cafe a must-go destination for cider supporters. With more than 60 varieties, from Tasmanian Willie Smiths to South African Savanna Dry, it is one of Australia’s largest collections.
That’s not all you’ll find in this inviting subterranean space beneath the Metro Arts building. When Hansen took over Verve in 2001, there were few places like it, and he’s been maintaining its artsy basement feel ever since.
The menu choices go beyond obvious Italian classics, with well-priced dishes such as vodka and artichoke risotto; spicy chorizo gnocchi; and the fire pizza with chilli jam and pepperoni.
If cider leaves you flat, look over the well-curated selection of Australian and international wine and beer, which includes Czech Praga Pilsner, Australian White Rabbit Ale and New Zealand Two Tails Pinot Noir.
For a quieter evening, tables tucked away in alcoves at the back are ideal for candlelit date nights. And if you run out of conversation, you can always head upstairs to catch a show.