Since it opened in St Kilda in 1915, the iconic Saint Hotel has lived a few lives. It played host to a bank, a pub, a nightclub, a Thai restaurant and a destination diner. Today, it’s home to St George, an Italo-pub owned by Public Hospitality with celebrity chef and author Karen Martini at its helm (ex-Melbourne Wine Room inside George Hotel, Mr Wolf, now-closed Hero).

The Italo-pub has two distinct spaces: The Grill and The Tavern. The Grill, as the name implies, is a flame-forward menu that makes use of the on-site wood fire and josper grills. Char-roasted carrots with macadamia crema and fermented chilli paste is a personal favourite for Martini. Seasonal vegetables make way for mains like whole grilled flounder with salmoriglio (an Italian sauce with lemon and olive oil) and Martini’s lauded bistecca alla Fiorentina.

The Tavern, located at the front of Saint George, is a casual extension of The Grill and centres snacks and pub-style plates like fried fish burgers and tubettoni bolognaise. It’s also the best place to grab a pre-dinner cocktail like the Number 8 (a grapefruit juice, Campari and vodka number that Martini created while working at Icebergs in Sydney) or the Verde Maria, a Bloody Mary remixed with tomatillos.

Sweets are less extensive, but include a pavlova for two. It’s scorched on the outside and filled with lemon curd, vanilla gelato and raspberry jelly. All gelati comes from Pidapipo.

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Updated: April 5th, 2024

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