Paul and Linda Jones are the husband and wife duo behind the Smith Street Alimentari, the sister venue of the Brunswick Street Alimentari and the (former) adjoining restaurant Gorski & Jones. Together, they’ve spent the last two weeks knocking down the wall that separated the two venues.
“It’s all happened very organically and really, it just makes sense,” says Linda Jones. “No one really gave me any resistance.”
The Smith Street Alimentari is still your authentic Italian delicatessen serving up fresh salads, rotisserie meats, antipasto and paninis as well as take-home meals, stocks and sauces. But now the space extends to next door to include an 80-seat eatery and sunny rear courtyard with friendly table service.
With the excision of the wall, the revamped Alimentary includes a giant U-shape counter, a fresh coat of paint and outdoor tables draped in white linen.
“We just wanted to create something bright and inviting and somewhere you would want to stay for the afternoon”.
But, more interestingly, Jones declares: “We’re not just Italian anymore”.
A separate Mediterranean-inspired breakfast and lunch menu is now available, which only adds to the feeling that you’ve somehow stepped from Collingwood into an al fresco dining scene in Santorini.
“We’ve just broadened the spectrum in a way that complements each shop.”
Breakfast is served until 3pm and includes an egg white omelette, shakshuka baked eggs or a quinoa bircher. For lunch, try the slow-cooked, baharat-rubbed lamb shoulder or the pan-fried potato gnocchi. A selection of juices and smoothies is also available.
However, Jones ensures that the new Smith Street Alimentari is “same, same but different”, compared to the previous version; the food is still authentic and remains affordable.
Now there’s just more room to move, creating quicker access to the fresh pasta bar or easier manoeuvring to snatch up your favourite bottled sauces, infused-oils and local cheese on your way home.
Smith Street Alimentari
302 Smith Street Collingwood
(03) 9416 1666
Daily 8am – 6pm (eatery section closes at 5pm)