Andrew McConnell's glamorous Melbourne CBD restaurant, Gimlet, has stormed onto the global stage today, achieving 84th place on the annual longlist of venues awarded positions 51-100 by The World's 50 Best Restaurants Academy.
Opened in July 2020, Gimlet's menu of familiar classics and its old world trappings in the impressive 1920s-era Cavendish House have captured the hearts of locals, making it one of the most difficult reservations to get in Melbourne.
But its entry onto a notoriously selective list of degustation-only restaurants, mostly in the northern hemisphere, places the Russell Street restaurant, Andrew McConnell's 14th venue, on a new playing field.
"Melbourne, after coming out of lockdown, was really looking for something," McConnell said in an interview with Good Food. "Gimlet is a great form of escapism for me, and it seems a lot of other people. It's not just about dinner, it's about an experience, and people found that at Gimlet."
He congratulated the entire team, including head chef Colin Mainds, restaurant manager Shane Lazzo, bar manager Cameron Parish and beverage director Leanne Altmann.
"The sum of the parts has come together and it just works," McConnell said.
'It's not just about dinner, it's about an experience, and people found that at Gimlet."
It's an especially hard-won honour, given Melbourne's restaurants have been closed for longer than any other city in Australia over the past two years.
Rankings are decided by a voting system, with each region's members able to vote for 10 restaurants they've visited in the last 18 months. The majority of each member's votes must be for restaurants in their region.
With little of the theatrics or overwrought "tweezer food" that usually defines World's 50 Best venues, Gimlet's success may point to a gradual shift in how the Academy views quality.
Restaurants 1-50 will be announced in London on July 18.
See the full list of restaurants 51-100 at theworlds50best.com