Restaurant St Lawrence
Saint Lawrence was a deacon under the Roman Empire during the second century, responsible for distributing the church’s vast wealth to the poor. A little too generous for Rome's authorities, Saint Lawrence was burned alive at the stake, and was canonised as the patron saint of cooks (and comedians) for his rotisseried end; his famous last words being: “This side’s well done – turn me over!”
Named after the saint, this 25-seat diner delivers a one-two punch courtesy of partners Daniel and Emily Greenwood (head chef and pastry chef, respectively), who champion locally sourced ingredients with wines from the surrounding Yarra Valley.
The menu changes monthly to reflect the seasons. During the colder months, you might start with chorizo croquettes and romesco, followed by main dishes such as a hibachi-grilled pork ribeye with roasted and burnt apples and winter greens. The set menu (The Feast of Saint Lawrence) comes with breads, sides, a main and a dessert such as a burnt butter financier with poached pear and mascarpone.
Emily, a former pastry chef at Ezard at Levantine Hill (the kitchen where she and Daniel first met), oversees the restaurant’s weekend bakeshop. On Saturdays and Sundays from 10am, an array of sweet and savoury goods are available with coffee to take away. Must-try items include tangy lemon meringue pie, silken New York cheesecake or a broccoli pie laced with buttery bechamel sauce.
The low-lit dining area is sparsely decorated, but it has a homey, country feel. There are exposed brick walls and timber beams, a vintage couch in the corner and a roaring fireplace when Hurstbridge temps plummet, with an entryway lit by festoon lights.
The restaurant's weekend bakeshop is currently on hiatus and will return in 2023.
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