Review: Neapoli

Neapoli is a small village in Greece, the hometown of Con Christopoulos' father, and the name of a wine shop-café-restaurant-bar hybrid that Christopoulos has become known for conceiving in Melbourne's CBD laneways and rooftops.

Salt and pepper and chilli squid, which had the perfect amount of chilli - just a bite in the aftertaste. 
My mum is currently in Noosa visiting her best friend, so my dad and I figured, since we were both in the city, there was no better time to grab dinner out in the CBD. Dad decided on Neapoli, explaining that he really liked the set-up of the interior and the ability to be able to sit at this beautiful timber bar and eat. Once I had walked inside (passing the outside verandah, which was filled with lucky people who had snagged an outside table and were enjoying this odd autumn weather) I understood what the fuss was about.
Salad: Black rice, cashew, tofu, avocado and parsley salad. Neither dad nor I had tried black rice before and I fell in love with that instant, although I have no idea why. 
The interior is spread over two floors: an upstairs mezzanine, decked out with leather-upholstered chairs, which overlooks the downstairs terrazzo floor. The bar stools were the most comfortable chairs I have ever sat on, and not once did I catch myself stretching out my back due to strain or slouch. It resonated the vibe of an old school European café, whilst still feeling very modern and groovy. More importantly, despite the immense ceiling heigh and timber surfaces, conversation was still easy and the restaurant felt warm and welcoming.
Salad: Lettuce, roasted capsicum, roasted eggplant, (some of the softest, creamiest, most delicious) buffalo mozzarella and toasted, buttered bread. I think this dish originally had wagyu meat in it, but the waiter might have overheard me telling dad I would be unable to eat the meat and removed it from the dish. 
The menu at first is slightly overwhelming, as it is an eclectic mix of health-conscious superfood salads as well as Greek comfort food and interesting seafood dishes. Still the menu is filled with winners, especially if you're willing to take slight risks, and in the end the cooking is well executed and therefore delicious. Furthermore, there are specials of the day, cheese of the day, and gelato, made in-house, with flavours of the day, so you're always going to be assured fresh ingredients.

The menu also allows for sharing, which dad was thrilled about because "eating a little bit of everything is how [he] would rather eat". Even though we only shared one started and two larger dishes, we were both full by the time the food was gone.
Dad's dry Manhattan - there were two other options, perfect and sweet, but dad didn't want to stray from the classic (he rated this Manhattan very highly). 

If you're not interested in eating, Neapoli is definitely a place to visit just if you want to see impressive bartending work, with the bartender mixing with preciseness, expertise, and a love for her work that I hadn't ever been privy to before. The wine and drinks list is extensive, and there were a few cocktails I was dying to try, if I hadn't had an 8:30 class the next morning.

If you're looking for a new place to hang out, Neapoli is the place to check out, as it welcomes any kind of person, from busy, corporate suit after at the end of a long day to apathetic young adult at the beginning of a long night without batting an eye. No matter the time of day, bar food is available, and both the coffee and alcoholic drinks will not let you down. Also the graphic design of the menu, coasters, and business cards is very cool.

How rad are these graphics! 
30 Russell Place, Melbourne
9650 5020

Mon - Fri: 7am to late
Sat - Sun: 8am to late


Neapoli on Urbanspoon

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