14 Meyers Place, Melbourne (map)
I know, it's very naughty of me to write about a restaurant that's only been open for about five minutes. But tonight I had a really great meal at San Telmo, and in my excitement I really wanted to share my first impressions. They're still very much in soft open mode (eg limited menu), so go easy on them if you visit this week.
I've wittered on in the past on the blog about my love for Porteño, Sydney's sexy, stylish Argentinean grill. I'm thrilled that Melbourne too now has a similar establishment, a big glam restaurant that places Argentinean grilled meat centre stage.
San Telmo is brought to you by Jason McConnell (The Aviary and The Vic, cousin of Andrew and Matt), wife Renee and Dave and Mickey Parker. It's located in Meyers Place, next door to Lily Blacks.
The interior is all black and white tiles and wood and cowhide leather (the waiters even wear brown leather aprons). The grill is at the entrance of the restaurant, and the cocktail bar and small courtyard are located out the back.
Loved the mosaic wallpaper of photos of famous Argentines!
The sliding door entrance/exit to the toilets vestibule is operated by a green light button that you have to press, which is kinda gimmicky and silly (but fun).
The restaurant's centrepiece, the gigantic Parrilla (coal grill) with a lever that looks like it should be switching railroad tracks, required not only transportation from Argentina by boat but also a genuine Argentino engineer to assemble it.
Among the dishes we tried were the chorizo ($16) and the zappallito (grilled zucchini, asparagus, toasted almond, $10). Oh, and 300g of fantastic entraña steak ($36), served with plenty of chimichurri and a mean-looking mother of a knife. If we hadn't been dining with a no pork girl, we definitely would have ordered the roast pork neck as well.
Loved the morcilla ($14) too. And you MUST leave room for one of these alfajores (Argentine cookies filled with dulce de leche, $5 each).
Really looking forward to revisiting once it's fully operational!