In the space that was once the Melbourne institution Gills Diner, this casual eatery already has a loyal following. The hero here is the food. Fresh hand-made pasta, properly Italian ingredients where appropriate and local where possible, traditional yet cleanly modern. Northern Italian flavours are matched to a wine list covering both Australian and European drops. For RestEx, you’ll be treated to an antipasto platter to start and then a delicious pasta of the day and glass of wine.
This pub has been on the corner of King and Flinders Streets since 1853. In its latest reinvention as the Waterside, it has been transformed into a quirky local pub filled with curios and antiques including what was once a museum turnstile from Paris. For RestEx the kitchen is serving red lentil croquettes followed by the fish of the day, paired with a glass of wine.
Wilson & Market
Paul Wilson’s homage to perfect produce at the Prahran Market has a luxe fit out and a modern approach to sustainable eating. Here, you have a wide menu to choose from for RestEx. From spiced lamb to schooling prawns, Burrata to handmade pasta. Conveniently located with plenty of space, take your time and maybe come back later in the week for round two!
Sleek, stylish and just a little bit moody, Sezar one part ancient Armenian tradition and one part thoroughly modern. Nestled down Melbourne Place and perfectly located for a dialled up mid-week lunch, it’s a great spot for hosting clients. The menu is fragrant, spicy and often surprising. Cocktails are just as sophisticated. For RestEx you’ll choose between three entrees all familiar Middle Eastern dishes with a twist, select a main of your choice and enjoy a Yan Yan Lager or a glass of Pinot Noir or Chardonnay from the Yarra valley.
Set in the heart of Melbourne’s Italian quarter, the top end of Bourke Street, Bottega is every inch modern Italian. From the menu filled with wholesome hand made pastas and hearty slow roasted meats (sometimes straight from owner Denis Lucey’s Rutherglen farm), to the tables spilling onto the footpath. Suffice to say it’s a favourite for a reason. The RestEx menu includes polenta fritta, porcini and shallot arancini, mussel topped housemade spaghetti or a choice of dessert – tiramisu or gelato.
On the ground floor of the rebuilt Stokehouse St Kilda, Pontoon is Melbourne’s answer to the beach club. The open kitchen sets the tone with flames searing steaks and fresh seafood to perfection, sandy coloured chairs and tables, and a bar that fills much of the space. Then there’s the view. You’re beachside after all. The RestEx menu at Pontoon is relaxed and easy to enjoy. Choose from kingfish ceviche taco or crispy cauliflower to start. Then your main – succulent roasted chicken, pita and zingy tzatziki with sides. Light and bright Victorian wines round out the experience.