Had you asked me a couple of years ago if I could see myself going to a “nose to tail” restaurant, I would have said no. It doesn’t seem like all that long ago that I was a vegetarian. But this past Friday I found myself at Josie Bones on Smith St in Collingwood. Naturally I’d had a peek at the menu beforehand and although some things seemed way too much for me I was still intrigued.
The very large skinned rabbit behind the bar is rather intimidating and mesmerising all at once. We wondered whether it was a photo or painted. It’s still a mystery. While waiting for the last of our group to arrive we ordered drinks, from the over 30 page beverage menu- it even had a contents page.
I went for the apple cider that was on tap. I liked the bone on my glass. Because we were also impatient and hungry we ordered some fries with chipotle aioli. Super salty and delicious. Once we were all there we perused the dinner menu. It isn’t huge but the options sound tasty and interesting.
The smoked potato and aged chedder croquets came out first. Incredible. I could quite happily have eaten these all night. This is a rolled pigs head- not my favourite thing. We also had a confit of chicken with a cabbage and cauliflower gratin, a beetroot carpacio with haloumi, grilled zucchini and squash, and beef cheeks cooked in mulled wine. I didn’t get photos of all of these…But this is how it all looked when we were nearly done. The plates were close to clean not long after this.
We were pleasantly full and declined the dessert menu before it was suggested we check out Messina Gelato, which had opened up the road only a week or so earlier. As a follower of theirs on instagram I almost bolted out the door.
Initially I thought it was a nightclub thanks to the line of people and general loiterers out the front. We quickly joined the end of the line and were given a menu to peruse while we waited- brilliance in my opinion so that no one was holding up the flow when they got to the front, well unless you were torn between flavours and required testers. In addition to the menu there is also a specials board. My head was going to explode there were so many flavours that I would happily devour and yet I had to narrow it down. The choice became somewhat more simple when I clapped eyes on one of the specials… Peanut pretzel brownie: peanut gelato studded with pretzel bits and chunks of brownies. Oh man.
There it is being scooped… I nearly changed my mind upon seeing the one up front though, which was called “So wrong that it’s right”. I stuck with my choice and was very pleased that I did. There was a hint of caramel through it too that gave a snickers bar in gelato vibe that blew me away. The brownie chunks were huge and I saved them for the end making sure to keep a generous coating of peanut gelato around them. I’m salivating now just thinking about it!
If you happen to find yourself on Smith St both of these places are worth a visit.