MELBOURNE | I’ve been wanting to go to Gray and Gray since it opened earlier this year, but yeah… lockdowns and all of that. I was very impressed by their lockdown offering (khachapuri is life) which I got three times, so when I finally had the chance to visit the on Monday, expectations were high. TLDR, it lives up to the hype.
Housed in an old Baristers and Solicitors office, Gray and Gray is the creation of fine dining chef/baker Boris Portnoy and winemaker/sommelier Mitch Sokolin. The restaurant highlights the food of the New York born and raised duo’s Russian-Jewish heritage, and the food of Georgia (the country not the US state) where they made wine together. There’s also bits and pieces from the wider caucuses region.
The quirky, unique venue is unlike anything else in the city. Nobody’s really doing food like this in a restaurant with such finesse and fun. The menu is small. Nine items plus dessert split into three sections. Bread and Pickle and, Spork Food, and Share With Your Friends or For. There’s also a feed me option. It’s the latter that I went for, and at $65 it’s one of the best value tasting menus in town.
Everything’s a highlight, and to many people, the menu will introduce them to flavours they’ve not had before. Particular standouts for me? The raw beef with basturma, cured egg yolk, and rye crisp, the corn mchadi (Georgian cornbread) stuffed with cured brinza (salty sheep’s milk cheese) and fava bean condiment, and the grilled flat fish with red adjika (a semi spicy Georgian-Abkhazian salsa) butter, and flowering chicory. And yes, there’s offal if you ask nicely. For dessert, a slice of the 10 layer medovik (Russian honey cake), which is baked at Boris’ bakery, All Are Welcome, next door is a must.
Given Boris and Mitch’s winemaking credentials, it’s no surprise that the wine list here is excellent. By the glass options are on the chalkboard, and whole bottles are in the ‘to go’ fridge. A diverse range of drops from some of the world’s most interesting and innovative winemakers.
Gray and Gray
188 High Street
Mon – Fri: 5:30pm to 11:00am
Sat: 12:00pm to 11:00pm
Sun: 12:00pm to 5:30pm