Billy Boy Blue
Time Out says
Homey, hearty and honest – North Carlton's new kid on the block is keeping it real, with straight-up Euro peasant food and an ethical cooking approach
North Carlton, meet your new neighbour. Billy Boy Blue is the lovechild of joint-owners and -operators, Dan Tesoriero, Douglas Kerr and Janna Scott – and they want you to feel right at home. With an ethos that centres around family, friends and general food-and-wine-bound-togetherness, the menu focuses on European peasant food and a connection to the land. It's a menu that's honest-to-goodness, home-cooked and hearty, with a mission to strip back any elaborate spin or modern fluff.
When they say European, they're not talking about just one corner of the continent. It's a well-travelled menu, with a melting pot of dishes inspired by England, France, Germany, Portugal, Greece and Italy. You'll find chicken liver parfait with chutney brioche contending with Portuguese fish soup, and duck confit salad with walnuts and Boudin Noir. Gnocci with sage butter and artichokes shares the page with brawn, piccalilli and rye bread.
If it's been days since your last home-cooked meal (you poor child) then heartier options will put you right again. Soul-feeding salvation on a plate comes care of pork shoulder with pasta, apple veloute and pecorino; saddle of lamb with shallot and spinach farce and shallot jus; and braised beef stew with quince, cinnamon and potato mash.
Got a big appetitite? Or just feeling peckish? They're not ones to judge here, or dictate your portion for that matter. Every dish – starters, mains, sides, desserts – is offered in your choice of small, medium or large. Révolutionnaire!
And speaking of sweet things, they don't put down their passport for those, either. Travel from British favourites such as baked egg custard with roast pears and rhubarb, and apple and cinnamon crumble with vanilla custard, to French offerings of chocolate and praline fondant with almond icecream, and vanilla fromage frais citrus tuille with macerated berries. Travel further still to Greece, where they've taken their inspiration for honey-soaked doughnuts with aniseed cream.
You'll find they favour comfort over cutting edge here, and if you're jonesing for something your French mate's grandmother might whip up in her farmhouse on a Sunday afternoon, you've come to the right little blue house.
639 Rathdowne St
|Opening hours:||Tue 5-11pm; Wed-Fri noon-11pm; Sat, Sun 9am-11pm|