MELBOURNE | The Carlton Wine Room is a neighbourhood bistro and bar, serving food that works with wine. Reopened in 2018 after several months of renovations, Carlton Wine Room continues to subtly tweak its offering, ensuring that in continues to get the things that matter right. It’s popular with locals, who visit for the delicious, unpretentious food, drinks, and welcoming atmosphere.
The space is deceptively large, housed over five levels of a heritage listed 19th-century building in Carlton. On the ground floor there’s outdoor tables leading inside to a large communal table, a few small tables, and a long marble bar. Upstairs there’s a second dining room, and further up still, two private event spaces, each taking up an entire floor. In the basement, there’s a private dining cellar.
Co-owner Andrew Joy manages the floor, while the other owner, sommelier Travis Howe, in in charge of the wine list. It’s a diverse and interesting 100 bottle wine list, that rotates regularly and covers all bases. Several options are available by the glass, and there’s a daily ‘staff pick’ that’s off menu and available by the glass if you’re interested. There’s also classic cocktails, digestifs, and aperitifs, and local beers and non-alcoholic drinks to round things off.
The food menu is short and simple. It features dishes with a classic European bistro influence, guided by the seasons and what’s good from suppliers at any given time. It’s a menu that works well as the basis of a full meal, or a snack or two to go with your wine.
Favourites and highlights include the duck and pork croquette with gentleman’s relish, anchovy atop fried bread, with ricotta and pickled cucumber, and Stracciatella with pickled mushrooms, chive oil, and potato focaccia. For dessert, the rum baba with crème diplomat is a must.
The Carlton Wine Room
172-174 Faraday Street
Tue – Thu: 4:00pm to 11:00pm
Fri – Mon: 12:00pm to 11:00pm