There’s no website. Or Twitter account. Or any effort in marketing the newest spot on the Collingwood side of Smith St, Gorski and Jones, which is next door but one to Cavellero.
Yet G&J place is packed with good reason. The place looks fantastic and their short menu of food and drinks is good. Very good.
It’s brought to us by the people behind Brunswick St Alimentari – “The Deli” – and a keen fan.
The music is booming and the vibe is loud as we slip into our viogniers and big, bright green olives on our first visit. Last night it was Zucchini flowers, stuffed with ricotta, anchovy and pine nuts, one of eight starters. I’ve enjoyed the nuttiness and deep flavours of the “goats cheese beetroot farro radish walnuts” and the freshness and bite of “kingfish fennel mint orange horseradish capers”
Wood fired cooking is central to the them here. You’ll find “rabbit cacciatore white wine olive rosemary”, roast pork belly where a roast half apple and a salad of witlof and radicchio cut through the flesh and fat. And then my personal favourite – large tubular hunks of bone standing upright with a watercress and shallot salad (and is listed as a starter).
The food is comforting and rustic and terrific value. The showpiece meat slicer in the window will cut you a plate of cured meats for $10 or $20 dollars. The starters currently cost from $14 (two zucchini deep fried zucchini flowers) to $15. Mains are $22 to $25, although you can get a small plate of seafood spaghettini for $16 right now.
There are still plenty of derelict and boarded up shop fronts in Smith St, the dividing line between Fitzroy and Collingwood. But increasingly it is being gentrified mostly for the better by places such as Gorski and Jones. Enjoy!