Guided by a sea-faring mural telling the story of the life of a fish, you will find the door of Maurice Esposito’s new Melbourne CBD restaurant St Peter’s, which opened last night. In the ground floor of the Hero Building, down Melbourne Lane in what used to be late-night drinking den, the Canary Club, Esposito has fitted out the two storey loft-like space, ripping out all the booths and placing white table clothed tables in the formal upstairs dining area. Intricate prints by Castlemaine based artist Catherine Pilgrim hang on the walls.
Downstairs is a more casual dining space, with room up at the bar to drink and dine too. Well known industry identity Mariano Massara - who worked with Esposito at Stokehouse, where he managed the floor upstairs for 18 years - has joined the team at St Peter’s.
The menu is large and strong, starting with small ‘tastes’, suitable for a snack at the bar – lunch, afternoon or evening. Driven by Esposito’s love of sustainable fish, the menu is of course seafood heavy with strong Italian influences. Handmade pasta includes a new take on favourites such as tagliatelle with carbonara. Fish mains include fancy fish and chips and other local swimmers, grilled or battered, and a couple of meatier dishes too. The wine list is suitably large and well matched with some strong local and European options.