The Easter long weekend was an extended food orgy for me as I took a visiting relative to some of the best restaurants in Fitzroy. I’ve already written about my adoration of The Commoner, and I finally got to try their regular Sunday roast. In honour of the occasion it was rabbit with prunes and bacon, and it was wonderful. Like my review of Good Friday dinner at St Jude’s Cellars, I’m going to tempt you first with dessert: beignets dipped in cinnamon sugar with caramalised apple and cream. Thankyou Jesus.
I started the meal with a gingernegro cocktail, which was delicious and refreshing on a surprisingly sunny day.
Lunch was the most tender and flavoursome rabbit, served with roasted prunes and bacon on a bed of silverbeet and runner beans with a subtle gravy and crispy onions.
A tart and tangy salad of leaves, fennel and apple complemented the richness of the meat.
It’s difficult to compare dining experiences at different restaurants. One of the few clear differences is in the environment they create and mood that results. For me, a small restaurant like The Commoner is more likely to create a mood of indulgent intimacy than a large one like St Jude’s Cellars.
The warm welcome from owner Jo and her staff is simply different to the comparatively impersonal, though entirely professional, welcome from the staff at St Jude’s. The atmosphere in The Commoner is more me, but the atmosphere in St Jude’s may be more you. I’m grateful that both seem to be doing well in difficult times.