Published on 20 June 2019
I know I’m in Melbourne when I drive through town and I see Pellegrini’s at the top of Bourke Street.
My first defining food moment in Melbourne was going to Pellegrini’s for the first time at eight years old. Being able to sit out in the kitchen with Emma and Sisto was exactly what I imagine it feels like to eat in Rome with your extended family.
The best new thing I’ve found is Oh Happy Day Pizza in Caulfield North, which I almost wish I hadn’t found because I eat there so much.
When I want to push the boat out on a meal, I go to Café Di Stasio on Fitzroy Street in St Kilda. I’ll eat anything they bring me.
There’s no better value in Melbourne than Bistro Goemon, a Japanese restaurant on Glen Huntly Road in Elsternwick. It’s super quirky and delicious. Order any of their daily specials: they’re always creative.
And when I want to dazzle friends from out of town, I like to go to Guy Grossi’s Florentino upstairs. Partly because of Guy himself – if he’s in the house he always stops by the table to say hello – and partly because of the old Melbourne glamour and food that’s well-considered and made with love.
In the mornings you’ll find me bum up, head down on a reformer with my Pilates guru Dimitria from Energize Pilates.
My local is The Classic Cinema in Elsternwick because it has European chic with plenty of chutzpah. It also has a great bar and jazz club, and it’s adjacent to After The Tears vodka bar, where you can get a bowl of borscht and some wry Russian humour between sessions.
If I could change one thing about eating and drinking here it would be reintroducing the European culture of a maître d’ where you feel singularly familiar to him, where he checks in with you and suggests a favourite beverage or simply asks “the usual?” when you walk in.
But the one thing I hope never changes in Melbourne is dressing to dine. Melbourne’s got a lot of style.
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