A century of proud producers on expansive estates rolls out a siloed scene in Red Hill, but Many Little – a name steeped in tradition – is combining the best of this rich land under one cosy roof.
There is an undeniably Anglophilic approach to Many Little. Like its mothership, Polperro (a quaint British fishing village), Many Little borrows its name from ye olde England along with the saying ‘many a little makes a mickle’, which means small things can amount to great things.
And the name is wholly relevant; slices of Europe, earthy Peninsula produce and the best of Victoria combine to create a venturesome food and drink menu, with roots firmly in local soil. Transitional Farm (Moorooduc), Daniel’s Run (Tyabb), Somerville Egg Farm and Tuerong Farm supply the bulk of the meat, veg and salads, and the Polperro group is targeting 25% of its own produce in the kitchens at Many Little and Polperro in the near future.
Serving the drinks is bar manager and mixologist, Douglas Duvoisin, who emanates Scottish joviality through his stomping ground, as well as the bistro, beer garden and, most importantly, the drinks menu. Surrounded by a smorgasbord of spirits, ciders, craft beer and, of course, wine, there is a story behind every drop.
“I’ll only stock Australian spirits if they’re good enough,” is his uncompromising stance. And coming from a Scotsman, “good” is a high bar; this one propped up with some of the finest gin and single malt whisky in the world.
Luckily, Douglas is more compassionate than his vetting process, and a trip to the bar is seasoned with a soft educational journey for those interested. Recycled spirit bottles sport dymo-embossed labels on the counter, brimming with homemade potions of rosemary and olive oil infused Tanqueray (Gin) and cacao vodka.
‘Sam’s Barrell’ Chardonnay and Pinot Noir take two of the six taps either side of a bar shared by the terrace and bistro, with the others left for a rotation of Victorian seasonal craft ales that explore territories usually unchartered in such an establishment.
Sam Coverdale, the man behind the “Barrell”, Polperro and Many Little, is the winemaker. He stocks this cellar door with the produce of grapes grown only in Victoria or France, although there is an exception made for a Pinot Noir Rosé from the Canberra District (NSW) on Polperro’s signature label, Even Keel. The Rosé is so good it makes an appearance next to the Chicken liver parfait starter, as a jelly.
As winter nights draw in, dark beers join the tap line up, the canara is fired up, and Vino + Vinyl (BYO Vinyl Sundays 4-6) is added to the long list of reasons to hang out here. You can even settle in with a bottle of red and watch the footy should you wish.
Formerly The Long Table, Many Little Bar & Bistro opened in October 2018, serving high bistro fayre daily from 5:30pm, with lunch Friday to Monday and Breakfast and a coffee window from 8am on weekends, grinding beans from the Gardenvale roastery Omar & The Marvellous Coffee Bird. Private dining for up to 40.