Most of the food at Merivale’s rustic farm-to-table diner Fred’s is cooked with fire. Nothing is overly complicated, the drinks are local and everything (both in the bar and kitchen) is fundamentally produce-based. The menu highlights what's best at the time from the farmer.
The restaurant is centred around a wood-fired oven and open-fire hearth, and they permeate the entire menu. Starters might include homemade ravioli (triangoli, to be precise) stuffed with prawn and topped with tomato butter, buffalo mozzarella with San Daniele prosciutto and persimmon, and bumps of caviar from the cold seafood selection.
For mains, lamb shoulders hanging over the hearth are braised slowly and served with grilled artichoke, broad breads and salsa verde. The rib eye steak is treated simply, served with garlic butter and jus.
The space is styled in mind of farmers’ kitchens. That’s translated into a bright, wood-dominated aesthetic that looks like a stylish French country retreat.
A recipe from Fred's is featured in The Broadsheet Italian Cookbook. Buy your copy at shop.broadsheet.com.au.