The story goes like this. A group of young people who used to run the no.1 party hostel in all of France, in Lyon take over the former Lona Pintxos bar in Armadale. The result? Fortify Bar & Restaurant, a slick European bistro and wine bar that is perfect for imbibing in food matched with wine.
This chique fitout does not come at the expense of warmth, as Fortify exudes a welcoming and casual atmosphere perfect for people of all walks of life to gather.
Co-owner Adam Davies possesses extensive experience in wine and hospitality with an impressive resume including owning and running a bar in Mexico. He also happens to be a wine connoisseur and this passion for the liquid gold is palpable in the extensive wine list that is on offer.
The venue specialises in French cuisine, but not as you know it, with items from various parts of France. We loved tasting our way through the menu, with each course perfectly matched with wine.
To start, the oysters Rockefeller sprayed with Pernod was scrumptious. Beautifully fresh oysters were topped with a mixture of finely chopped spinach along with copious amounts of butter and then baked in their shells.
For mains, the duck is an absolute winner. Think tender duck encased in crispy skin which boasts a scrumptious pistachio stuffing served with rustic fried potatoes and the most luxurious cherry jus. It was a delicious option that was highlighted by the captivating flavours and aromas of the duck.
If you love cheese, then the charcuterie plate is a must. One of the best that Melbourne has to offer it includes stunning Savers cheese from Auvergne, which is exclusive to Fortify and is sold in most Michelin restaurants in the Rhone alps region.
The charcuterie is also served with beautiful baguette - second baked from Ned's Bake at 3pm everyday. Adhering to the French rule of not keeping baguettes beyond 5 hours, the unfinished baguette lives on through Fortify's pain perdu, and garlic herb croutons which is served with some of their dishes.
Location: 963 High Street, Armadale
Phone: (03) 9822 0382