Talented chef Annie Smithers has worked at many top Melbourne restaurants and now focuses on her own country eatery. When she opened in 2005, this was possibly the only decent restaurant in town; today, Piper Street is a fabulous ‘eat street’ and foodies’ precinct. On her farm at Malmsbury, Annie grows fruit and vegetables, runs free-range chooks and sources other fine local produce. Her unpretentious French Provincial fare charms everyone visiting her high-ceilinged restaurant. Entrées might be deep-fried brains with Seville orange marmalade and bacon, or classic steak tartare. There is often confit duck leg and a special steak dish featuring local beef. Desserts are likely to be a delicious French-inspired crème brûlée or crème caramel. She also has a takeaway wine licence so visitors can try local labels.
72 Piper St; (03) 5422 2039; open Fri–Sun for lunch and Thurs–Sun for dinner