Why I’m mad about Marion Wine Bar

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I increasingly feel overwhelmed by too much choice so what a relief to eat at Marion where the food menu is limited to a dozen dishes marked up on the white washed wall.   Marion is first and foremost a wine bar so the wine list is much more extensive but it is also Andrew McConnell’s newest opening so although the food menu is short it is certainly sweet.

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Crab on rye at Marion

Next door to Cutler & Co on Gertrude street, Marion is unmarked from the front but peek down the side laneway and you’ll see large stencilled lettering and a cut out long window letting diners and passers by interact.

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Padron peppers, jamon and rosé at Marion

Marion is split into two rooms with pared back white washed walls.  The first has a wall lined with wine and an awkwardly shaped bar towards the back while the second is dominated by the open kitchen. Limited bookings are available but we managed to score a table for four just turning up on a Saturday night and being prepared to stand at the bar for 45 minutes having a drink beforehand.  No hard task when there is so much wine to choose from including a Crawford River Cabernet Merlot from the Cutler and Co list. 

Zucchini at Marion
Heirloom zucchini at Marion

At the bar we started with my favourite Russian Roulette dish – grilled padron peppers (will they be hot or not?) and thin slithers of jamon ($14).  It paired beautifully with a glass of crisp Arfion rosé from the Yarra Valley ($13 a glass).   Also on the bar snacks menu were rounds of rye bread topped with a mound of delicate crab meat ($8 a piece). 

Pasta at Marion
Pasta at Marion

The simplicity of the menu at Marion is perhaps best illustrated by the pasta casarecce ($23).  Al dente tubes of pasta with butter, cheese and thinly sliced zucchini. That’s all but it packed a total flavour punch. We ate it with the porterhouse steak ($34) cooked with a thick charcoal tinged crust and perfectly medium rare meat and a serve of the wild weeds ($10) just touched by the pan so they were still vibrant and green. 

Marion Wine Bar is exactly the way I like to eat and drink. It’s oh so Melbourne but also oh so good. 

Essentials
Details: Marion Wine Bar, 53 Gertrude street, Fitzroy (Ph 03 9419 6262)
Damage: Pricey. 
9/10
Marion Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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