Windsor’s High Street is heading to outer space with the arrival of Neptune, the strip’s newest food, wine and cocktail venue. Turning the idea of a traditional wine bar on its head, it aims to offer a comfortable and sleek retreat where both locals and visitors can indulge in good food and even better booze.
The multi-faceted, two-level space was created by two of Melbourne’s best-known hospitality partnerships: Nic Coulter and Simon Blacher of Hanoi Hannah, Toyko Tina and Saigon Sally, and brothers Dave and Michael Parker, owners of San Telmo and Pastuso. The awesome foursome has combined their passions and expertise to present a south-side destination that’s sure to send the locals into a spin.
Within Neptune’s four exposed walls, you’ll find a Mediterranean-inspired menu, perfectly paired with classic cocktails, boutique liquors and an array of interesting wines. Upon walking through that outdoor-indoor atrium that greets you on arrival, expect to find Windsor’s largest bar dotted with generous seating to ensure many can enjoy what’s on offer.
Here, the menu ranges from grazing and sharing dishes, such as cured meats, fritti misto with sage anchovy fritters and flash-fried mussels, and absinthe bonito tartare with Calabrian chilli oil, to larger mains and pastas, like bone marrow tortellini. If you’re just popping by for a drink, make a beeline for the back of the venue, where a fireplace lounge awaits. You’ll be able to select a bottle from the cellar to enjoy by the crackling fire, or, if you’re in a rush, just take a bottle home to enjoy in your own living room
Upstairs, a cocktail saloon awaits – fitted out with custom banquette seating and an in-house whisky locker. With views to the downstairs space, it’s designed to be the ideal escape from the hustle and bustle of nearby Chapel Street.
In recognising the importance of intelligent design, Nic, Simon, Dave and Michael recruited the team at Ewert Leaf Architects to bring their space to life. While the two areas possess distinct personalities, they are visually united by an emphasis on raw and exposed design elements, where stripped-back brick is complemented by natural timbers, enlivened by soft lighting and gold accents.
With such a strong set of hospitality gurus behind it, a hard-to-beat location and a food and wine offering that’s sure to suit every palate, Neptune is sure to become your go-to spot for lazy lunches, after-work drinks or long catch-ups over a bottle of wine.