Scott Pickett insists he’s not just about fine dining. “As much as I love the top-end dinner, there’s nothing better than walking away after spending $20 or $30 saying, ‘Fuck, that was tasty’,” he explains.
Pickett has spent the past two years securing the site on the corner of Elizabeth and Therry Streets, a heritage-listed building redesigned by Hirsch Bedner Associates. The vibe he’s going for is French deli with a contemporary twist. There will be a six-metre-long communal table, and a floating marble island with chefs and baristas on one side, and seven diners on the other.
“We’ve spent over half a million, which is a bit more than I wanted for a little deli,” Pickett admits. “But it’s a long-term investment for me – I want to go down there with my grandkids in 20 years for a rotisserie sandwich or a dirty bratwurst around the corner.”
The centrepiece of the new venue will be an enormous French-made rotisserie, with room for 48 brined Milawa chooks. “I love ESP, don’t get me wrong. I built it because [it] is where I want to hang out and be creative and do 50 covers every night. But I’m not too proud to try to roast the perfect chicken,” Pickett says.
He’ll also serve simple breakfasts, dishes such as creamed rice pudding with rhubarb; lunchtime salads and sandwiches; and dinner dishes such as roast beef with gravy. Desserts will include a Rum Baba and a creme caramel.
There’ll be a large selection of produce to take home; dry goods from Victorian farmers such as Mount Zero Olives; charcuterie and terrines from Piper Street Food Co.; and coffee from Dukes Roasters. The team at the Estelle has been busy making jams, pickles, relishes and preserves from seasonal fruit and vegetables such as quince, cumquat and beetroot. Around 2000 of 5000 jars are already prepared.
Pickett’s Deli & Rotisserie will open on Thursday September 29 on the corner of Therry and Elizabeth Streets, serving seven days a week from 7am–11pm.
This article was updated on September 27, 2016.