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Monday, September 14, 2015

Peachy Picks Flinders Lane Our Coverage Sponsored by Fresh Origins

Owner Chris McPherson of Flinders Lane with his extraordinary oysters!
Owners Executive Chef Chris Rendell and Chris McPherson of Melbourne, Australia 

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This post is dedicated to Paulina and Ed, the most fabulous Australians we know!
We still miss you in New York. 
See, they even know to give you the right oyster forks to start with.
It's not who you know, it's Whom You Know and as you know, we like to know restaurant owners that pursue excellence.  We are thrilled to announce today the very first Australian entry ever to grace Peachy's Picks: Flinders Lane!
We surmise based on their phenomenal quality this will not be their last post on Whom You Know.  In 2006, Chris McPherson of Melbourne moved to New York; he had a brother already here.  Chris Rendell is from Melbourne as well, and they met here.  Australia's loss is New York's gain and in February 2014 they teamed up to inaugurate Flinders Lane.
Flinders Lane was first featured earlier this year in Terrific Takeout:
We were so impressed we could not wait to return. This is our first time dining in Flinders Lane.  If you are not familiar with Australia, you should know that this restaurant is named after a lane way in Melbourne.  Melbourne is a grid and major streets have both main drags and offshoot lanes.  Flinders Lane is unique to Melbourne: it's originally the area of the rag trade: clothing and material.  This area went into decline and in the 19th century the city of Melbourne gave grants to build up this area.  Today in Melbourne, we understand that Flinders Lane is an eclectic mix of bars, restaurants, cafes and architecture design firms.
Your food will taste better when you know the story!
The Chris's were homesick and wanted to bring a slice of their hometown to New York and you should know that their Flinders Lane is sincerely authentic.  If you are looking for shrimps on the barbie or blooming vegetables, you will not find them here.  Rather, you will find a true commitment to delicious interesting dishes that evoke the fusion of cultures that is Melbourne today.  And who better to do this than two guys FROM MELBOURNE!
Not only are they superlative at what they do-cuisine-but they are genuinely committed to ensuring their guests enjoy themselves.  No one should be surprised to see that Peachy Deegan first picked this tremendously flavorful Italian red to start with.
To begin with, six perfect Wellfleet (Cape Cod, Massachusetts) oysters arrived in style.
You can have your cake and eat it too here: oysters with bacon and sausage!  You know how picky we are about overly creative: Flinders Lane pushes the limits of creativity to the delicious level, a quality not often found in those trying to be overly experimental.  The Lap Chung Chinese Sausage is cured with sugar to avoid humidity and teams up with Kilpatrick oven bacon and worcestershire sauce to give this delicacy extra kick that we loved.  This was a special of the night so if you visit and this is available, jump on it!
Next came the amazing salad course.  Please meet the grilled beef salad, which has hidden gems of pink grapefruit!  The beef is grass-fed from DeBragga and shallots and mint come to this party on a plate as well.  All of a sudden, Peachy's wine glass had become shallow and next she asked for an Australian red please.
Chris suggested:
This smashing edition from Victoria was a terrific companion to the BEST TUNA we have had ALL SUMMER.  Normally we never order off the specials menus so you can all replicate what we do if your little heart desires, but this just looked too good to pass up.
Herb Crusted Tuna is intelligently enhanced with Mr. Popular Menu Item everywhere Avocado and a unique Red Onion Relish that has worcestershire sauce coming to its party as well.  The presentation was so gorgeous that Flinders Lane is the restaurant that is being featured during FASHION WEEK in New York.
After the tuna was finished waltzing down the runway, it was nicely attacked by Peachy's fork.  The quality of the tuna was an eleven on a scale of one to ten, and the slices were genuinely majestic.  You'll triumph in the glory of every bite that is seared to rare perfection.  If you don't finish all of it in one sitting (like Peachy) you will then dream about it and get up in the middle of the night to finish it.  This only happens when we are really, really impressed.  Australian food where have you been all our life?
As you know, Australia was settled by the Irish and English so we had to try the roasted rosemary and garlic potatoes which were also tops.
We can be kind of hesitant about cocktails we don't know so well, particularly because of all of our Star Vodka experience.   (The Peachy Deegan cocktail is ONLY made with Star.)
Not only is the food authentic, but also the cocktails are dedicated to premium, quality ingredients.  When they say they are putting lavender in a drink, they mean it.
Look at the fresh lavender!
We love this level of serious.
You absolutely must try the Lavender Old Fashioned!
Old Overholt Rye, Cognac, Lavender and Bitters combine for a whale of a cocktail that will wow you tremendously.  Its authenticity is better than many cocktails by people we've met that call themselves mixologists.  Chris and Chris completely know what they're doing with cocktails, and it is even more fun when you are drinking their drinks with them.
One of the worst things that can happen is that we return to a restaurant after a takeout and it's not as good.  Our Flinders Lane experience was the furthest from this and even the splendid bread pudding rocked our palate just as much if not more!  It features the Milo ice cream (a flavor unique to Australia that came out of the army camps of WW2, similar to Qwik as in the bunny we love that makes your milk chocolate) and stars chocolate raisin bread and wild berry jam.  It is definitely one of the best desserts we've had all summer and this niche cuisine is absolutely phenomenal.  
So much quicker than a trip to Australia, the trip to Avenue A is one you need to make!  Their menu changes seasonally four times a year.
Our esteemed panelist adds:
Dive into the adventurous coastal waters of the land Down Under via the year-old Flinders Lane. So named for the artistic, bohemian neighborhoods in their hometown of Melbourne, the owners of Flinders Lane bring a unique point of view to flavors that blend Asian influence, a touch of the Greek and the other cultures that have assimilated in the Land of Oz. 
We started with Wellfleet oysters, chosen for their size as well as for their briny finish. Dressed with a smidgeon of Australian Finger Lime "beads", a new taste sensation occurs. 
We've never known this little fruit, with its burst of citrus flavor and exquisite caviar-like presentation, but now it's our new favorite. 
As an aperitif, we began with the perfect refresher: an Aperol Spritz. Mixed with Aperol, Prosecco and fresh orange, the cocktail is just one of the imaginative and enticing offerings on the bar menu. The Bar Manager is a genius, the owner a sommelier who has travelled well and far to select the perfect wines for pairing with the experience that is Flinders Lane. Together, they use a bountiful supply and a generous hand of herbs fresh from Union Square Market, adding their own touch of modern to more familiar drinks. Next came the special salad of the day, a Watermelon Salad. 
Presented in layers, like the mulit-culture of Australian food, the fruit was dotted with feta, and finished with spoonfuls of basil seeds soaked in water. Red sorrel leant their leaves for color, and subtle flavor, and echoed the red of the melon. As suggested by the owner, a delightful Rose accompanied this course, and the rest of the meal. 
Born in Macedonia, from the Siatista Winery, 2014, with a blend of moschomavro and xinomavro grapes, the wine is a perfect pairing for this meal,and would be delightful all summer long. Take a note and remember this wine.
The Main Course choice was the Coconut Curry Laksa, more of a stew than a plate. 
Pale salmon-colored and creamy, the bowl holds giant Ecuadorian prawns perfectly cooked in the shell, coconut milk, and rice noodles. The chef never misses a beat, a note, or a perfect combination of flavors. There is a healthy selection of meat on the menu at Flinders Lane, so yo
ur group can be vegan or venison eaters, and the experience will be as wonderful all around. 
Dessert was a selection of in-house made ice creams, in aromas whose names are not often heard on this side of world: wattleseed, anzac crumble, milo , lemon myrtle. Delicious and delicate in their individual personalities, each scoop opened up a world of culture and possibilities. 
An "Australian" Affogato finished off the meal, with a scoop of wattleseed ice cream floating in a glass of espresso. 
For a dessert cocktail, the owner suggested a Mexican Fernet-Vallet to top off. At a 35% 70 proof alcholic content, this is no lightweight. It's a concoction that provides the perfect post- dinner digestif without the sweetness, just herbs.
These lads have carved their niche into the scene in the East Village and have made a welcoming spot for visiting Australians. But no American would ever feel out of place here. Come with an adventurous palate, an open mind, and a foodies' heart to enjoy the back wall street art, the personable host, the creativity of the barman and the chef. Downtown will never be the same.
Peachy Picks Flinders Lane!
Flinders Lane is Highly Recommended by Whom You Know.

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