Thursday, February 22, 2007

February 20, 2007: Markov Place

Cindy wanted to spend Tuesday night making a second batch of the super sandwiches for a night picnic at the moonlight cinema, so there was no kitchen space for cooking dinner. Instead, we tried out Markov Place, a place that had been given a couple of write-ups in The Age. It's hidden in behind the cleanskin shop on Drummond Street across from the back entrance to Safeway. We snuck in the other way, via the eponymous alley that runs of Johnston Street. It's a lovely, relaxed place: part bar, part restaurant with high ceilings, atmospheric lighting and a fairly bustling crowd for a Tuesday evening.

Being part bar, the drinks menu was quite impressive - a good range of imported beer, some fairly standard cocktails and a wine list (which The Age critic dissed, but which looked fine to my untrained eye). Cindy went for a non-alcoholic of lemom, lime and bitters, while I sampled a Czech beer: Budějovický Budvar, which turns out to translate as Budweiser Budvar, although it is not the well known American Budweiser. Very confusing. But very delicious on yet another unreasonably humid Melbourne day.
The food menu was quite limited, with a couple of vegetarian mains and half a dozen sides (salads, mushrooms etc). We discovered on the way out that there's a bar menu as well, which had a few more options, but we coped just ordering off the regular menu. Cindy didn't feel like one of the cheesy main options, instead opting for a green salad and a bowl of fries from the sides menu. Both were huge - the fries were crispy and salty, meaning Cindy neglected her salad for quite some time. I was feeling a bit more bold and went for the buttered leek and taleggio cheese tart with rocket, pear and walnut salad. It was tremendous - perfectly cooked pastry, cheesily-delicious filling and a well-matched salad. I polished it off in no time, before Cindy had even moved on from her giant bowl of fries to her salad. When she eventually started on the greens, I finished off my night in style by demolishing the leftover chips. Delightful.

I'd certainly go back to Markov Place to sample some more of their beers and soak up the atmosphere with some bar snacks, but the menu's probably a bit limited for vegos to make frequent dinner visits.

Address: 350 Drummond Street, Carlton
Ph: 9347 7113
Price: Sides $6, Veg mains $14-$16

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