You Beauty is a collaboration between chef Matt Stone and publicans Matt Rabbidge and Luke Sullivan, who own Ciao Mate! and the Eltham Hotel nearby.

Stone is a chef of serious pedigree and the menu reflects that, but You Beauty has a nostalgic pub ambiance to match its kitschy name. Vintage coasters, signed posters, pennants, sew-on patches and other bits of Australiana decorate the walls, while the chairs are simple dark bentwoods that complement the bar’s brown tiles, maroon counter and muted brass edging. The warm, vinyl-fed soundsystem speaks of a similar era. The drinks, though, are thoroughly contemporary: produce-led cocktails and natural wines from Australia and Europe.

The menu format will be familiar to anyone who’s spent time at big city wine bars: small plates and large plates, all meant for sharing. To start there’s the expected oysters and olives, but also the likes of house-made charcuterie, chicken terrine and kangaroo skewers. Mains could be roasted quail or tagliatelle with mussels and fermented chilli.

Each dish shows off techniques and ideas Stone has collected throughout his impressive career. He grew up in Margaret River and worked at acclaimed Perth restaurant Star Anise for a couple of years before joining eco-warrior Joost Bakker’s Greenhouse, followed by the zero-waste cafe Silo and its successor, Brothl, in Melbourne. Then there was a stint as co-executive chef at Oakridge Wines in the Yarra Valley. So, for example, bread left over at Ciao Mate! pizzeria is spiked with koji bacteria and fermented into house-made soy sauce. Clever.

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Updated: September 29th, 2022

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