European Article Lead - narrow
European Article Lead - narrow 

161 Spring Street Melbourne, VIC 3000

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03 9654 0811
Opening hours Mon-Thurs 7am-11pm,Fri 7am-12am,Sat 7.30am-12am,Sun 7.30am-11pm
Features Outdoor seating, Private dining, Bar
Prices Expensive (mains over $40)
Chef Ian Curley & Trent Kerr
Seats 68
Payments AMEX, Diner's Club, Mastercard, Visa

If the Windsor Hotel is Spring Street's grand dame, then the European is her dashing nephew, handsome with his dark-wood outfit and gilt-on-glass frontage, but chummy enough to keep tables close along the long, warmly lit room. Adroit, affable staff take care of dressed-up diners and post-show patrons, delivering artful continental starters: a sauteed calamari entree is in fact a mini paella, with the squid, smoky peppers and tomato-soaked rice sitting in a small cast-iron pan. Likewise prawns dressed in olive oil and herbs come 'potted' in a tin, accompanied by thin, crisp toast. Reinterpreted mains might include deconstructed coq au vin, the dish of lardons, parsley mash and poultry perhaps lacking the moisture of its stewy origins. Pasta dishes, whether linguine twirled through with crab and basil, or a rotolo of pumpkin and pinenut (as its own dish or the foundation for duck confit), sit perfectly between rural and refined. Regulars know desserts such as chocolate salty caramel are too rich to tackle alone.