Palermo, Melbourne CBD

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MELBOURNE | Palermo is the newest restaurant by the team behind two our our favourite Melbourne restaurants, San Telmo and Pastuso. Named after the funky Buenos Aires suburb, which in turn was named after Saint Benedict of Palermo, Sicily, Palermo Melbourne sets out to capture the best of Argentinean food, along with its Italian, and of course Spanish, influences.

Ewert Leaf architects (Neptune, Feast of Merit) have taken care of the fit-out, converting the space into a large split level 150 seat room with the ability to section of various parts depending on functions, requirements of the day etc. Low lighting, dark fittings, steel, exposed brick walls, red carpet, wood, and harlequin tiles give the venue a suitably appropriate hidden den sort of vibe. Those of a certain age might also recognise the Tuscan mural on one of the walls, a remnant from Bill Marchetti’s Tuscan Grill, which once occupied the space and closed in 2001.

The kitchen is headed up by 2014 Good Food Young Chef of the Year award winner Ollie Gould (Stokehouse, Shorehouse (Perth)), and sees a focus on quality meat being cooked over fire. The kitchen features an parrilla and asado, along with a large open fire pit, so you’re going to get properly authentic Argentinian barbecue here. Think dry-aged O’Connor’s beef, Gippsland Suffolk lamb and suckling pig from Millbrook, cooked over a variety of different woods and charcoals.

We attended the launch and tried a variety of dishes and came away impressed with everything we ate. House made chorizo packs a fiery punch, while both the vegetarian and beef empanadas hit the spot to start with a perfectly dense filling and crispy pastry. Morcilla (spcied black sausage), is rich, luscious and indulgent, while the suckling pig croquettas are dense and delicious without being too heavy.

Moving on to the main event, the meat, and there’s not much to say other than it’s fantastic. Perfectly cooked, tender on the inside, with a beautifully salty charred crust. The Vacío – O’Connor’s premium pasture fed flank steak is a must, and the Asado de Cordero – Gippsland Suffolk lamb slow cooked over charcoal, is a close second.

The Zanahorias – carrots with eggplant purée, smoked almonds, and brown butter dressing, are a fantastic accompaniment to the meat, as are the Papas – fried potatoes with garlic aioli and spiced salt. If you’re still hungry, the flan – dulce de leche crème caramel with salted peanut praline, is a fantastic way to finish things off.

Drinks wise it’s Argentinean wines with a focus on those from Mendoza and Patagonia. The 2014 Ruca Malen Yauquen Bonarda from Lujan de Cuyo, Mendoza, goes particularly well with the meat. There’s a good range of spirits and cocktails too, with the only real disappointment being the beer, which sticks mostly to the commercial lager side of things.

The consistency quality that we’ve experienced when dining at San Telmo and Pastuso multiple times over the past few years meant that expectations for Palermo were high and thankfully they’ve nailed it from the get-go.

Palermo

401 Little Bourke Street
Melbourne
Victoria 3000
Australia

Telephone: (03) 9002 1600
E-mail: [email protected]
Website

Open – TBA
Sun – Sat: 12:00pm to 11:00pm

Palermo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Paul
Paul
Paul founded The City Lane back in 2009 as a place to share photos of his travels around Europe with friends and family. The City Lane might have changed quite a lot since those early days but one thing that’s remained constant is Paul’s passion for food, travel and culture, and a desire to photograph and write about his experiences. Paul has a strong inquisitive nature that drives him to look beneath the surface in order to discover what really makes a city and its people tick, and what better way to do this than over a good meal or drink, with a city’s locals, at places that people who live in that city actually frequent. Paul is also a co-host of The Brunswick Beer Collective, a podcast that may or may not actually be about beer.

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