After conquering Melbourne’s breakfast and brunch landscape with Barry in Northcote, Mammoth in Armadale and Touchwood in Richmond, couple Loren and Jamie McBride have now made their mark with Gilson, an all-day affair. Led by executive chef John Paul Twomey, an alumnus of the first-rate Melbourne hospitality empire led by Andrew McConnell, the menu moves from popular breakfast selections through Mediterranean-influenced lunches and dinner. A wood-fired oven is the linchpin not only for the half-dozen pizzas on offer but also the signature whole roast chicken dish and even, according to season, certain fruit desserts.
Jamie McBride has said his intention for Gilson was to create a contemporary local restaurant, more modern than some of the South Yarra classics. Helping bring the vision to life were designers Projects of Imagination, who have also worked closely on United Places Botanic Gardens. The Gilson fitout is fresh and airy, with white walls, marble tabletops and cane-backed chairs. It’s a relaxed, neutral backdrop to enjoy any style of eating, from light grazing to full-blown feasting, paired with spritzers, cocktails or anything from the European-leaning wine list. Worth knowing about: aperitivo happy hour runs weekdays from 4pm until 6pm; Thursday nights present a very affordable wine-and-pasta special.