The cellar bar of State of Grace is the closest thing you’ll get to a Prohibition-style speakeasy in 2016.
Fewer raids and more tattoos - it is Melbourne after all. Slide away the book case at the back of the restaurant and descend the marble staircase to their hidden speakeasy.
Warm light bounces off giant chandeliers, around a wine cellar decorated with a mix of decadent antiques and vintage odds and ends. Deer heads with scarves, obscure street signs, wingback reading chairs and classic books stacked on coffee tables. Order a wet Four Pillars Gin Martini and you will be in heaven.
Bar manager Anjali Das is a Melbourne local (and subsequent foodie) who chased her love of the culinary arts to a degree in New York, working in some amazing bars and restaurants while she was there.
But as with all Melbournians, the city eventually called her back home. Today she manages Fall from Grace and is a classic cocktail lover.
“I like to make clean, unabashed mixes. Negronis, Sazeracs,” she says. “It’s great because Melbourne folk are loving their bitter booze at the moment. It fills my heart with a little joy!"
Martinis are a particular passion of Anjali’s. And we love her for that of course.
“Local gin, wet with a big twist of orange. It’s that drink that everyone just has to order at some point in their lives. Or, if you’re my mother, every Thursday night."
This worship of the classics isn't to say the F.F.G. crew aren’t experimental in their mixing.
The Saving Grace is a nice little twist on the espresso martini - a salted caramel expression topped with crunchy popcorn - balanced in its flavour, and just plain adorable in its presentation.
So, whether your order is classic, clean and bitter, or you’re craving something a little sweeter, we think you’ll be right at home beyond the secret book case.
Oh, and they also do cocktail degustation nights. Check out their website for more info.