Tasty treats just down the street
ELIZABETH STREET FOOD AND WINE 285 Elizabeth St, North Hobart. Licensed. Open Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm, Saturdays to 5pm and Sundays to 4pm. 6231 2626 www.esfw.com.au
OF the few newly styled provedore/ café/ restaurants that have opened around the state over the past year or so, Elizabeth Street Food and Wine is by far the largest.
With their “locally sourced, seasonal, fresh, humane and sustainable” food ethos, the provedore is a Tasmanian standard bearer stocking the state’s most extensive and diverse selection of local products.
Just some of these include fresh vegetables, fruit, leaves and 11 varieties of potatoes, to small- producer meats, cultured butters, cheeses and other dairy items, condiments, olive oils, salmon and trout, down to Tasmanian wines, craft beers and ciders.
They also stock new- on- the- market gourmet goodies such as Shima Wasabi’s fabulous pure wasabi powder and Fowlers Cheese, made by a 13th generation English cheesemaker, Ian Fowler, newly established in the Blue Tiers region inland from St Helens.
It really is an amazing array of Tasmania’s best.
And the same food ethos and many of the provedore produce go into chef Karen Goodwin- Roberts’ large breakfast and luncheon menus in dishes that are beautifully cooked and elegantly presented, free of any fashionable fussiness or gimmickry.
The ultimate professional, she and her kitchen team make almost everything on your plate from scratch, from the lavosh crisp breads to the cakes, pickles, pastes and pastries to breaking down whole beasts for their charcuterie, hams, sausages, pork, lamb and beef stocks, sauces and dishes.
While there are plenty of gluten- free, vegan and lactose- free menu options, I love the fact she doesn’t hesitate to leave some fat on her meltingly tender beef rib to supply flavour and a scrumptious mouth feel after its slow, 18 hours cooking.
Her lunch- time menu items range from the richness of an exemplary three-cheese sauce with her baked pumpkin and ricotta gnocchi to the simplicity and lightness of dishes like spring greens with elderflower dressing and pickled vegetables with labna and lavosh.
I also enjoyed a thick, sponge- like buckwheat blini topped with generous curls of smoked salmon, horseradish cream and crisped capers freshened with a sprinkling of grated lemon zest making for a perfect, light, lunchtime snack.
Each of the dishes on the lunch menu is accompanied by a suggested wine taken from a concise but well- selected and very reasonably priced listing of Tasmanian, mainland, French and Italian wines with 17 available by the glass.
In a peculiarity of the licensing laws, they can sell whatever wines and beers they like in their restaurant but only those that are Tasmanian- owned in the provedore, meaning you can sit down and dine with a Cascade or Boags but not walk out with one.
The kitchen is also kept busy with the long- established and very successful catering side of the business as well as preparing a range of ready- to- go meals available from the provedore, including, in the lead- up to Christmas, their own honey and pepperberry cured hams to be smoked by the Wursthaus in Cambridge, Christmas hampers and pre- prepared turkey breasts, all available to be ordered from early next month.
And they currently have 60kg of mixed fruits macerating in readiness for their Christmas cakes and puddings.
As if they weren’t already busy enough, they will also soon open later on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays for dinner.
BEST IN SHOW: Locally sourced produce available in the provodore; right, staff Lawrence Hamblin, Nonae Luekhamhaw and Sarah Oakley enjoy a meal.
Pictures: KIM EISZELE
ONE- STOP SHOP: Chefs Michael Roberts and Karen Goodwin- Roberts; dishes are kept simple, local and fresh; duck eggs available to buy.