After the success of the experimental Molecular Mondays, notable locavore restaurant The Aylesbury is offering a four-course vegetarian degustation over Monday evenings in May.

With most degustation menus tending to showcase meat dishes, restaurant owner Jesse Gerner frames the meat-free menu as a reflection of the current attitude. “There is a growing trend, a push towards raw food and eating healthy in the food industry,” he says. “People are more interested in vegetarian food.”

The menu was devised by head chef Seth James and Paolo Arlotta of Vue de Monde, and as a passionate vegetarian himself, Arlotta is particularly eager to demonstrate that a meat-free meal can be so much more than salad leaves and bland vegetables. The chefs will be serving creations including ‘Broken Tart’, a deconstructed shortcrust pastry with pine mushroom puree, swede confit, liquorice molasses and roasted persimmon; black sesame cappellacci stuffed with goat curd and eggplant; and a burnt caramel ice cream with honey fig and sheep’s milk for dessert.

“Creativity, passion and attention to detail make the difference,” Arlotta says. “Eating fine food is a pleasure that everyone should be able to [experience], even if my target customers will be not limited to only vegetarians.

“Food lovers in general are the people I would love to cook for – people that love healthy, tasty food in a fine dining context.”

The vegetarian degustation dinners are $60 for the four-course meal and $95 with matching natural and biodynamic wines specially selected by sommelier Shane Barrett. Numbers are limited to 60 guests per night. For bookings, contact the The Aylesbury on (03) 9077 0451.

Originally set to run only on the 6th and 13th of May, The Aylesbury have extended their vegetarian dinners to include the 20th and 27th as well.