The team behind Copper Pot Seddon has brought more European-inspired eats to Melbourne with its newly opened sister restaurant Messer, which sits on Fitzroy's Gertrude Street. Like Copper Pot, the menu is European in origin, though Messer takes specific cues from the continent's markets and the diverse produce found within them.
Melbourne-born owner Ashley Davis is a bit of an authority on European food. He has won hats for his cooking at both Copper Pot and Southgate's Pure South (where he used to work as head chef) and London's Hélène Darroze was awarded two Michelin stars while he was heading up the kitchen. At Messer, Copper Pot co-owner and chef — and fellow European-fare aficionado — Sascha Rust is running the kitchen. Rust will be cooking up a menu of regularly rotating dishes inspired by what's available at the market on the day.
Messer opens for lunch and dinner five nights a week with distinct daytime and night menus. Lunch will focus on a selection of salads — with options like tomato and basil with organic olive oil; zucchini with fennel, parmesan and olives; and pilaf with smoked carrots and goats curd — and features a daily three-course menu for a super-affordable $39.
At dinner, an eight-dish set menu is available for $100 a head (or, by all means, go a la carte). Dishes will centre around the meat, seafood and vegetables coming off the rotisserie and out of the smoker. Expect dishes like grilled clams, squid ink kingfish, smoked sardines and flame-grilled duck and artichokes with black garlic.
For the fit-out, Davis collaborated with designer and business partner Craig Bridge to create a distinctly European market vibe. Think design elements like a concrete and copper bar, Mediterranean blue tiles, aged leather booths and oak tables, along with textured plaster walls and tempered steel shelves. To round out the team, Davis has recruited venue manager Kelly Woodliffe (L'Hotel Gitan) and sommelier Wiremu Andrews.
The restaurant only has room for 45 all up, so be sure to grab a reservation before heading in.