East Elevation does terrific brunches, and we've enjoyed a couple of evening events there, so we were well pleased to know that they've extended their hours to dinner on Thursdays and Fridays. They're on the seasonally-responsive bandwagon (a fine wagon it is!) so the menu varies a bit from week to week. It's structured to share, starting with little olive bowls ($4) and working up to larger dishes, including a cheese platter ($21).
The best news is that it's as vegan- and gluten-free-friendly as the brunch menu. Across eleven items, seven had vegetarian (v)s, four had vegan (vg)s, and nine had gluten-free (gf)s. Our waiter suggested that we pick two and maybe order a third if we were still hungry, but with so much on offer we escalated immediately to three.
She didn't mention that we'd also be getting bread! Though it was tempting to use all the butter, I was better served saving my second piece for the extra dressing on the other plates.
For example, with this raw zucchini salad ($13). Though the zucchini itself was raw, the dish was warmed via white beans and 'melted' tomato. Some judicious seasoning and fresh herbs kept this dish lively and the tomato collapsed into the olive oil dressing, fairly begging me to soak it up in the bread.
The squacquerone cheese under these roasted carrots ($14) was surprisingly set and quite mild - I had no problem acquiring my share with a fork!
Mildness is less of a guarantee with Pimentos de Padron - we received nearly a dozen of them in a salt nest with our baked potatoes ($14) and engaged in chilli roulette. I lost, unable even to eat the plain potatoes or cool green sauce for some minutes.
We asked after dessert and, this being the home of Monsieur Truffe, we couldn't leave without trying it. The passionfruit tart (~$9) met our high expectations. There are chocolatey options too, of course, though on this night we satisfied ourselves with watching the chocolate churn next door.
Sadly there are no vegan desserts just now, but they promised that they're working on it. Once that's ticked off, we'll happily give them five stars. We love their relaxed and spacious layout, and the Beck-and-Britpop tunes of that night could have come straight from my own e-device. We've always had pleasant dealings with the staff. The food is as fresh-flavoured as it is brightly hued, and they've a knack for balancing simplicity and sophistication in their desserts.
You can also read about two brunches and two special night time events we've enjoyed at East Elevation in the past.
351 Lygon St, Brunswick East
veg dishes $4-21
Accessibility: Excellent. A ramp on entry, great light, lots of space and spacious individual unisex toilets, at least one of which has disability signage. Ordering happens at the table and payment at a reasonably low counter.