Oysters and caviar at The French Saloon.Photo: Adrianne Harrowfield
They’ve created an eating, drinking and carousing hub in Spring Street with the European, City Wine Shop, Spring Street Grocer and Supper Club.
Now chef Ian Curley and restaurateurs Con Christopoulos and Josh Brisbane are set to do the same again in Little Bourke Street with the opening on Tuesday (January 19) of the French Saloon.
Above their very civilised Kirk’s Wine Bar, they’re installed a Francophile bistro inside a former apartment.
The French Saloon, above Kirk’s Wine Bar.Photo: Adrianne Harrowfield
With its distressed floorboards, petite courtyard and six-metre French-made zinc bar from which drinks, oysters and caviar will be dispensed, the light-filled 60-seat dining room could have existed for decades.
Up a few stairs in one corner is a private room for 28 with a secret exit. In another corner, more stairs lead to an elevated kitchen, built off-site in two shipping containers and cunningly craned into a gap between two buildings.
It’s from here that head chef Todd Moses (previously at Circa, Golden Fields and Supernormal) will plate up things like beef carpaccio with anchovy and pickled green chilli, smoked duck with cherries, and whole roasted flounder with shellfish butter.
The French Saloon’s petite courtyard.Photo: Adrianne Harrowfield
Curley promises more French classics such as cassoulet and bouillabaisse when the weather cools.
Downstairs, the partners’ Little Bourke Street expansion plans continue apace with Kirk’s Public Bar, their version of an Aussie pub, set to open next to the wine bar mid-year.
The French Saloon is open Monday to Friday noon-midnight.
Upstairs, 46 Hardware Lane (corner Little Bourke Street), Melbourne 03 9600 2142