True to form, Andrew McConnell serves up another Gertrude Street gem.
January 12, 2023
When someone like Andrew McConnell opens a wine bar, the expectations are high. When that bar sits beside the guy's iconic, two-hat Fitzroy restaurant Cutler & Co., forming some kind of wining and dining super-spot, you can bet they're even higher.
But you can rest assured that Marion lives up to all that hype. In the space that housed Supernormal back in its pop-up days, it's proved a solid addition to Gertrude Street's ever-blossoming hospitality scene.
The clientele is a mix of Fitzroy's hip, young things — grazing on charcuterie and showing off their grape knowledge — and more mature punters quaffing interesting wines while waiting for their table next door. The space itself bears a similar blend of young and old; a brushed copper bar and khaki-hued banquettes offset by concrete and exposed brick.
The drinks list is a stunner — an exhaustive compilation with something for every palate and budget. You can drop by for an aperitif, unwind over a couple of glasses of local wine, or really settle in and share your way through a bottle of something foreign.
Serious wine buffs will appreciate the commitment to the more interesting stuff, with orange wines and less familiar grape varieties given lots of list space, and well-informed staff happy to give you the lowdown. Even the hefty pouring selection might feature the likes of a skin-contact pinot gris out of Central Otago ($21), Heathcote's 2019 Kennedy Shiraz ($17) and the Vicoletto Catarratto from Sicily ($12).
A succinct, rotating food menu hangs on one wall, with dishes ranging from elegant snacks to more generous belly-fillers. At the dainty end, you might find small plates like mussels atop grilled sourdough with tomato and a saffron aioli ($22), and asparagus matched with salsa verde and a tumble of manchego ($22). Bigger appetites can feast on the likes of a whole flounder finished with kombu and beurre blanc ($46) or roast chicken with tarragon and butter beans ($43).
It's safe to say McConnell has done it again.
Images: Harvard Wang