May 2024 update: Stokehouse’s downstairs sibling is home to some of the city’s best pasta. Throughout winter, it’s making your Wednesday nights warmer with a slab of lasagne and a tiramisu for $30. The glorious pasta has five layers of slow-cooked bolognaise, house-made sugo, and a glossy bechamel sauce. And for dessert, a half moon-shaped tiramisu features fluffy cream, coffee-soaked sponge and cacao powder. Book here.

Since Stokehouse opened in 1990, the sand-level venue beneath it has lived many lives – including as Pontoon and Stokehouse Cafe. In this iteration, it’s a laid-back all-day eatery led by owner Frank van Haandel’s sons Hugh and Pete, inspired by European dishes and dining.

The fit-out leans into the foreshore location, with natural timbers, bright coastal tones and plenty of natural light. More seating has been added throughout the venue to create a focus on sit-down dining, including heaps of outdoor spots just metres from the sand.

As the name suggests, the easy-breezy menu is centred around pasta. Using handmade creations from Fairfield deli Pasta Poetry the menu might include cacio pepe gnocchi and crowd-pleasing spinach and ricotta tortellini. Plus, each pasta dish comes in three sizes: entree, main and family.

Also expect rotating weekly specials; seafood-centric starters (think harissa-spiced cod croquettes); and desserts such as ice-cream sundaes, lemon-ricotta cannoli, and a riff on Stokehouse’s signature bombe alaska – a bombe-shaped tiramisu. Drinks-wise, there’s no shortage of cocktails and spritzes for sunny summer arvos by the beach.

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Updated: May 28th, 2024

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