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Stokehouse Pasta & Bar

A breezy all-day spot for Mediterranean eats and beachside spritzes, in an iconic St Kilda site.
By Libby Curran
December 21, 2022
By Libby Curran
December 21, 2022

A fresh incarnation of the former Pontoon site and casual sibling to Stokehouse above, this laidback, all-day spot is a go-to for Mediterranean eats and beachside sips. Hugh and Pete van Haandel (sons of Stokehouse precinct owner Frank van Haandel) are steering the venue's latest guise, built around a pasta-heavy food offering that fuses European flavours with Aussie flair.

Breezy coastal-inspired interiors and timber finishes are played against the backdrop of sand and sea, and there's been a strong focus on sustainability, both throughout the build and driving the ongoing offering.

Food bears similar DNA to the restaurant upstairs, yet with a much more casual lean. It's especially primed for seaside snacking sessions, with the likes of white anchovy and olive gildas ($4), king prawns with nduja ($18), bolognese arancini ($8), and a mixed salumi plate ($28/50). Move into pasta territory for plates like cacio e pepe gnocchi ($20–50), a crab and chilli spaghetti ($23–52), and orecchiette spiked with anchovy and broccoli ($17–48); or dive into mains like the classic fish and chips ($34), or a veal schnitty ($29).

Hefty, group-friendly shared options include a 600-gram whole Murray cod with peperonata ($MP), and a giant rib-eye paired with gremolata ($98). And star Group Pastry Chef Ash Smith is putting on a show for dessert, with the likes of lemon and coconut panna cotta ($14), and a tiramisu reimagined as a bombe alaska ($17).

Weekly specials encourage return visits, from the $30 weekday express lunch menu, to $24 seafood dishes for Fish Night Tuesdays.

Also out to save you some coin is Stokehouse Pasta & Bar's wine list, where all bottles clock in at $79 a pop. The lineup trips from Australia to Europe, with pours to suit palates both simple and adventurous; while cocktails span from the classics to signature offerings like the Stokehouse Spritz — a delicate blend of Amaro, orange, white peach and jasmine soda.

Images: Interiors by Tom Blachford, Food and Drink by Arianna Leggiero.

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