The Carlton Wine Room opened last week on the corner of Drummond and Faraday Streets, near Brunetti and DOC. Co-owner Jay Bessell, who had been coveting the building for the last four years, has gone into business with long-time friends and colleagues Michael Tenace and Connie Capello. All three work together at CBD restaurant Il Solito Posto – Bessell as general manager, Tenace the owner and Capello in admin and accounts – and this opportunity seemed to good to pass on.

“I approached Michael and he thought it was a crazy-enough idea to do it,” says Bessell. What’s been created is a very smart room on the ground level and the building is gradually going to open up over the three levels.

The cellar downstairs is a private dining room for up to 12 people, with a handmade Tuscan rosewood dining table as its centrepiece. Street level sees mostly bar-height seating, a chef’s table and a menu that, yes, has share plates of food, but a refreshing approach to it.

“We are doing single serves or serves to share,” says Bessell. “So if you want to try a lot of things you can with single serves. This is the way I love to eat, you don’t need to fill up on it, just try a lot.”

The kitchen is headed by Matthew Silovic (who was most recently sous chef at Verge) and the food is being termed ‘contemporary European’, with a high-technical approach. High-tech often refers to the machinery in the kitchen – a Pacojet, sous vide methods of cookery – which, when used correctly means interesting textures and combinations on the plate. All we know so far is that it’s great to have an interesting new bar in Carlton.

Carlton Wine Room
172–174 Faraday Street, Carlton
(03) 9347 2626

Tue-Fri 5pm–11pm
Sat-Sun noon–11pm