Siblings Sofia and Stefan Soltys are hitting refresh on Eastern European fare for their new Fitzroy bar and eatery, Little Odessa.
Following the success of the pair's CBD cafe Frances Food & Coffee, this latest project sees them drawing on both their Ukranian heritage and their family's lengthy history in the hospitality game. The siblings' mother opened Lygon Street's Cafe Paradiso back in the 70s, while their father later founded Rathdowne Street icon The Paragon.
And now Little Odessa's joined the family, launching on Brunswick Street in early February. It's a cosy space, where natural wines are the focus of the drinks list and the kitchen's plating up modern riffs on the Ukrainian fare the Soltys grew up with.
Here, find yourself tucking into dishes like dill and vodka salmon tartare with rye, seared sardines teamed with a Hungarian-style tomato sauce, and a borscht to make any babka proud. Of course, classic pierogi dumplings also make an appearance, here stuffed with either potato and cheese, or pork and apple.
There's also an impressive wine selection and a strong bottled lineup of Aussie craft brews, though you can always stick with tradition and grab a Czech Budvar on tap. All served, of course, with a side of warm, European hospitality.
Little Odessa is now open at 274 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy. For more info, visit littleodessa.com.au.