Fall from Grace (located behind the bookshelf at State of Grace) Location: 477 Collins Street, CBD, Melbourne, VIC Contact: 03 8644 7110 Steeped in history, Amaro Montenegro, ‘the liqueur of the virtues’, was created by famous distiller and herbalist Stanislao Cobianchi. With over 100 years of refinement, today’s Montenegro blend is a perfectly balanced mix of over 40 herbs, vanilla and citrus pops of orange peel. The Montenegro brand claims top place as one of Italy’s leading exports thanks to its ability to be enjoyed straight, with soda water and a dash of orange rind, or in complex cocktails. We headed over to Fall from Grace (located down the rabbit hole of the sassy State of Grace on Collins Street) for a bangin’ cocktail party to celebrate the re-launch of Amaro Montenegro in Australia.
Son In Law Location: 56-58 Johnston Street, Collingwood Victoria Contact: 03 9410 399 Resplendent in blazing purple is Son In Law, a stone’s throw from the Tote on busy Johnston street. This is fresh, up to date Thai Street food. We had to start with this new restaurant’s name sake: Son In Law Eggs – Sweet Tamarind, Chilli, fried shallots – $8
Ms Collins Location: 425 Collins Street, CBD, Melbourne, VIC Contact: Bookings contact (03) 8614 2222 during business hours. For after work group package bookings or information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org After work drinks just got more fun! Ms Collins has just launched the Acoustic Kitchen, which means Friday nights just got a whole lot better. The huge bar, restaurant and club now features an acoustic live band from 6-8pm, every Friday.
Meatmother Location: 67 Swan Street, Richmond Victoria Contact: 03 9041 5393 Meatmother is back. Whilst most would be familiar with this bastion of American style low and slow protein, things have changed over in Richmond. The favourites are all still there, but tweaked with modern sensibilities, bringing the cuisine from a decadent once a year indulgence to fantastic Friday night fare.
400 Gradi Location: 99 Lygon Street, Brunswick, Melbourne, VIC Contact: 03 9380 2320 By the time Johnny Di Francesco of Melbourne’s 400 Gradi was 17 years old, he was already managing his own pizza section at a restaurant in Carlton and had been making pizzas for over 5 years. This was, of course, all while Di Francesco was studying an electronics engineering degree at university; determined to pursue his passion in the kitchen, Di Francesco would attend university during the day, and then continue to work in the pizza restaurant at night.
De Bortoli Winery and Restaurant Location: Pinnacle Lane, Yarra Valley, Yarra Glen, Melbourne, VIC Contact: 03 5965 2271 I first chanced upon De Bortoli a few years ago. I had been invited along to a spontaneous weekend escape to the Yarra Valley, with the whereabouts of the lunch date kept a close secret until arrival. The day that we set out from Melbourne was absolutely beautiful – the sun was out, the air crisp, and the skies crystal clear; a perfect day for a winery visit. I remember the car rolling onto the De Bortoli drive, the first glimpse of those rows of vines, and the first look-in to those cellar doors. That day we dined on one of the most exquisite degustations I had been treated to, matched with wines and delivered with impeccable service. It’s a intimate, romantic space, and somewhere which is understandably a popular destination for engagements, weddings and other important celebrations. I instantly knew we’d found something special.
Royal Stacks Location: 470 Collins Street, CBD, Melbourne, VIC Contact: 03 9620 0296 Melbourne’s latest burger joint, Royal Stacks, may have just opened it doors on the Spencer end of Collins Street, but the soon-to-be Melbourne institution is already kicking up a buzz with burger fanatics. Drawing on US influences and the expertise of resident burger guru, Dani Zeini (the same geniuses who brought us Grand Trailer Park Taverna, Dandenong Pavilion, Easey’s and Truck Stop Deluxe), Royal Stacks manages to deliver on all of the things that a Shake Shack-inspired burger chain must, and then some. That means a lip-smacking menu of premium ‘stacked’ burgers, served with the option of jazzing it all up just the way you like, with add-ons including the usual extra patty and extending to a sinful deep fried mac and cheese croquette. Bless.
The Stables of Como Location: Corner Williams Road & Lechlade Avenue, South Yarra & Toorak, Melbourne, VIC Contact: 03 9827 6886 Set amongst the lush surrounds of the heritage-listed Como House and gardens in South Yarra, The Stables of Como brings a surprisingly relaxed, country-style space to one of inner-city Melbourne’s poshest suburbs. The cafe itself occupies the old stables of the gardens; a light and airy, white-washed space that sprawls out into a plush green courtyard and manicured greens. Dogs are welcome (expect to see a few insta-famous pups on the weekend) and one should expect a wait – it seems like everyone is aware that this spot is a bit of bliss on a sunny afternoon.
Mt Erica Hotel Location: 420 High Street, Prahran Victoria Contact: 03 9529 5770 Every Sunday, Mt Erica Hotel transforms into a mini festival, complete with live bands and food trucks. For decadent Sunday afternoons, a rotating variety of food and entertainment will grace Prahran to help finish off the weekend. That particular Sunday, Mt Erica hosted a range of food trucks, including Toasta, purveyor of awesome toasted sandwiches; Ghost Kitchen, pumping out Taiwanese street food; and
Chocolate & Raspberry Cream Fudge Cake with Cienna Jellies To beautifully complement the launch of Brown Brother’s Cienna wine, cake baking extraordinaire, Katherine Sabbath, has created this sumptuous Chocolate and Raspberry Cream Fudge Cake, topped with gem-like Cienna Jellies. The vibrant ruby red colour of Cienna and its aromas of fresh red berry fruit are as equally as impressive and juicy when transformed into a jelly form. The layers of fudgy, dark chocolate cake fulfil even the most insatiable of chocoholic cravings, yet its richness is delightfully balanced by the natural acidity and fruit sweetness of this popular Brown Brothers wine.
Bar Nacional Location: Collins Square, 727 Collins Street, Melbourne Victoria Contact: 03 9252 7999
Albert and Sydney – Cocktail and Wine Bar Location: 382 Sydney Road, Brunswick Victoria Contact: 03 8354 6600 We wandered into the Albert and Sydney with the waft of barbeque filling our nostrils. Planted imposingly on the corners of Albert Street and Sydney Road, the space is light and airy, belying its heavy blockwork outer. The booths are open and relaxed, and the vaulted ceilings help the feeling of vastness, dotted with textured shades and technicolour logo.
Fancy Nance: Adriano Zumbo Dessert Bar Evenings When: Friday and Saturday evenings from 6pm-11pm (bookings essential) Location: 21 Daly Street, South Yarra VIC 3000 Contact: (03) 9826 0312 Adriano Zumbo’s exclusive dessert bar evenings kicked off with a bang at the celebrity chef’s whimsical South Yarra high tea salon, Fancy Nance.
The Great Local Lunch Where: Birrarung Marr, Melbourne When: 12.30 – 2.30pm Sunday 14 February (Valentine’s Day) The Sustainable Living Foundation is giving Melbournians the chance to win two seats to The Great Local Lunch, a ‘crowd farmed’ feast of Victorian freshly picked and foraged produce, cooked up by Melbourne’s most celebrated chefs. On Sunday February 14 the banks of the Yarra will hold the biggest yet Great Local Lunch, a feature event of the Sustainable Living Festival. The crowd-farmed feast will bring together the people and produce from local farms and Melbourne backyards to inspire a new generation of growers, and Melbourne is invited.
East Ivy Location: 6 Burton Crescent, Melbourne, Ivanhoe, Melbourne Contact: 03 9499 8186 One of the East’s best cafes is (in, mind you, true Melbournian style) hiding in a street off a main road in a non-descript building in Ivanhoe. For those in the know, the cafe, East Ivy, brings all the finesse of its sister restaurant Lux Foundry to the fore, and then some. The all day menu is accessible as ever, aiming for broad appeal with a blend of Melbournian brekkie staples as well as a few unique touches. Coffee is by Proud Mary, teas by Larsen & Thompson (yes please), and the food is reliably good. All of the things one would expect from a crew who clearly know the brunch game back to front.
Meatball and Wine Bar Location: 135 Flinders Lane, CBD, Melbourne, VIC Contact: 03 9654 7545 Most of you would be familiar with the Meatball and Wine Bar. Melbourne’s first artisan meatball restaurant, which launched in the CBD and has now expanded to three outlets across Melbourne, has quickly become renowned for its highly customisable meatball offering, which includes balls of the beef, chicken, pork, fish and vegetable varieties. Once you’ve picked your balls, ordering is a simple affair – add a hearty, creamy or light sauce and something for your balls to sit on (who can go past a good ol’ mash?) and voila, you’ve got yourself one lip-smacking meal.
Anchor Milk www.anchordairy.com.au Anchor Milk is redefining the way we look at milk. The company, which launched in Australia in February this year, is the first in Australia to employ the use of microfiltration technology – a unique process which allows the removal of 99 per cent of the bacteria in milk. While unwelcome bacteria in pasteurised milk is not harmful, it can impact the taste and shelf-life of milk. The unique filtration process that Anchor Milk uses results in a beautifully fresh tasting product with a substantially longer shelf-life than normal pasteurised milk (21 days versus the typical 15 day shelf-life of regular milk).
Eau de Vie Location: 1 Malthouse Lane, CBD, Melbourne, VIC Contact: 0412 825 441 With almost 500 years of experience in glass making, Spiegelau has just launched the ‘Perfect Serve Collection’ by award-winning bartender and mixologist, Stephan Hinz. The goal was to create the ultimate set of bar glasses which not only felt and looked good but were also perfectly functional. The result is a 10 piece strong series of glasses which have been designed to cater to the needs and demands of a modern bar, expertly sized to accommodate every cocktail, whether classic, inventive or whimsical. We set out to Eau de Vie earlier this week to preview the series of glasses through an intimate masterclass with designer Stephan Hinz.
Le Petit Prince Location: 1a Mercer Road, Armadale Victoria Contact: 03 9824 6404
Shimbu Tibetan Restaurant and Bar Location: 58 Lygon Street, Brunswick East, Victoria Contact: 0405 319 161
Merricks Creek Wines Location: 44 Merricks Rd, Merricks Victoria Contact: 03 5989 8868 http://merrickscreek.com/