80 Bourke St Melbourne, VIC 3000
|Opening hours||L Mon-Fri,D Mon-Sat|
|Features||Accepts bookings, Business lunch, Degustation, Events, Licensed, Lunch specials, Long lunch, Private dining, Romance-first date|
|Prices||Expensive (mains over $40)|
|Chef||Guy Grossi, Chris Rodriguez, Matteo Toffano|
|Payments||Diner's Club, eftpos, AMEX, Visa, Mastercard|
|Phone||03 9662 1811|
This has to be Melbournes grandest dining room. At night the room, with its timber wainscotting, carriage lamps and Napier Waller murals, glows like candlelight through amber. Always a comfortable rather than stuffy experience, youll rest on baronial tapestry chairs at solid tables loaded with good linen and fine glassware. Theres an opulence on the menu, too, with white Alba truffles, local lobster and Sardinian bottarga all regulars.
While many of the front-of-house values may also be reassuringly old-school, from the stool for your handbag to the presence of a cheese cabinet, owner-chef Guy Grossis food certainly hasnt ossified.
He is equally at home knocking out the national treasure that is his braised abbacchio lamb or robust duck and wild mushroom tortellini as he is crafting out-there creations like seared yellowfin tuna with bottarga, heart of palm, caviar, cayenne praline and a vodka and tonic sorbet.
In winter, local Glenloth pigeon might come beautifully pot-roasted with cotechino, vin santo, grapes and a Jerusalem artichoke puree. Desserts can be less impressive: a chocolate souffle with malt icecream, perhaps, or rhubarb cobbler and a slice of icecream terrine.