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|
When a diva of a certain age ‘has work done’, the results ought to be elegant but not incongruous. So it is at the Grossi family’s flagship, where a 2013 renovation delivered a new, brighter entry, glass-walled private dining room and marble bathrooms. Yet the theatrical 1930s opulence of the wood-panelled Mural Room remains: Italianate paintings, double-damask tables, hallmarked silver cutlery. The not-insubstantial price of a meal includes fine-dining extras such as house-made grissini, amuse-gueules and a pre-dessert, while the menu might include lively, chilli-spiced maltagliati with prawns, or perfectly pink roasted partridge on nutty buckwheat. Desserts lean towards the deconstructed but the signature Valrhona souffle is classically puffy, delighting special-occasion couples and top-end-of-town suits alike. While the cooking is sound and the stage set superb, the heroes of this opera may well be the waitstaff – welcoming and intuitive, they bring contemporary warmth to a polished package.
And … The lunchtime ‘veloce’ menu delivers Grossi glamour at $65 for two courses, with bottomless mineral water.
Vibe Old-school Melbourne opulence.
Best bit Sensational service.
Worst bit Luxury's not cheap.