Many abide by the old phrase “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Not Jesse Gerner.
After three-and-a-half years, his cafe Green Park had become a trusted local go-to, near the border of Carlton North and Brunswick East. So why rebrand as Park Street?
As well as rethinking the food offering, Gerner wanted to “introduce a more intimate feel” at night, while maintaining “the welcoming feeling Green Park had” he says.
The menu at the new restaurant will focus on pasta and cicchetti (small Italian bar dishes). Gerner owns the venue with his Bomba and Samuel Pepys partners Kelly O’Loghlen and Shane Barrett, and chefs Andrew Fisk and Russell Hall.
Hall, who was previously head chef at Gerner’s Añada, will run Park Street’s kitchen.
“During the day, your standard brunch comfort foods will still be available, but you can also have a stand-out meal if you’re a bit hungover and need something solid,” Gerner says. He adds that alongside pasta, diners will find salads and mains, including veal shanks.
Gerner is talking about the waffles with Pedro Ximénez-braised beef cheek, cavolo nero and a fried egg. If you’re in for something lighter, toasted muesli clusters with milk curd and compressed fruit is also on offer.
As dinner comes around, plates such as a wood-grilled king prawn with salmoriglio and fermented chilli come out. Pasta dishes include a braised duck rotolo with wood grilled radicchio and hazelnut, and for fans of seafood, prawn agnolotti in a shellfish bisque with chilli and fennel.
Gerner’s wife Vanessa has overseen the refurbishment, introducing artwork by Aaron Kinnane and implementing leather banquettes, more communal tables, plenty of plants, and candles – to create a warm and cosy evening restaurant setting.
815 Nicholson Street, Carlton North
(03) 9380 5499
Mon & Tue 7.30am – 4pm
Wed – Sun 7.30am – 10pm