St Peter was the patron saint of fisherman, the name of John Dory in Italian (Saint Pietro) and is also the name of Maurice Esposito’s new city restaurant. Currently attending to the finishing touches on a site in The Hero Building down Melbourne Lane (where the old Canary Club was), Esposito will be doing something no one is doing in the city – sustainable fish.

“That’s my bag really, that’s what I do,” Esposito comments of the restaurant that will serve similar fare to his eponymous Carlton restaurant. “It will be more Italian driven through, rather than whatever I want to cook”, he adds. There will also be meat dishes and small plates to share.

The large double-storey space has a big bar area, encouraging a more casual bar dining and loose informal eating downstairs. Upstairs will be more of dining room.

The plan is to be trading by October. In the meantime, some artwork is being finished on the outside of the building in the laneway. The colourful mural tells the story of the life of a fish, from the ocean to the boat, gradually moving down the lane until you reach the front door of the restaurant – where all the good fish go.

Maurice Esposito is married to one of our food writers Hilary McNevin.

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