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FOOD & DRINK

Seven Date Spots in Melbourne Perfect for Celebrating a Landmark Anniversary

Whether you're celebrating two months or two decades, these cosy spots will let you do it over date-appropriate martinis, dishes and dessert.
By Kat Hayes
June 28, 2018
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Seven Date Spots in Melbourne Perfect for Celebrating a Landmark Anniversary

Whether you're celebrating two months or two decades, these cosy spots will let you do it over date-appropriate martinis, dishes and dessert.
By Kat Hayes
June 28, 2018
  shares

SEVEN DATE SPOTS IN MELBOURNE PERFECT FOR CELEBRATING A LANDMARK ANNIVERSARY

in partnership with

Whether you're celebrating two months or two decades, these cosy spots will let you do it over date-appropriate martinis, dishes and dessert.

Flowers, chocolate, teddy bears, and huge balloons that say 'I love you' aren't for everyone. You know what is for everyone, though? Food. And drinks. Everyone likes to partake in a plate of some nice food and a nice glass of vino from time to time (or we assume). So, in times like landmark anniversaries — you know, times when you want to do something special but can't quite cop the balloons — why not put that money towards eating somewhere nice instead?

Melbourne has a bounty of restaurants and bars ready and waiting to facilitate your celebrations — whatever the occasion may be. Italian, modern Australian, or just a fried oyster situation will, we assume, take your date night from medium rare to very well done indeed. Take a look at the list we, along with American Express, have compiled of a few of our favourites, book early and get your American Express® Card ready — this isn't the time to get local Thai takeaway for the third time this week.

Got yourself in another dining situation and need some guidance? Whatever it is, we know a place. Visit The Shortlist and we'll sort you out.

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    Natural History is where all your carnivorous cravings will be seen and met (especially taking the taxidermy deco into consideration). It’s a “bigger is better” time over here in the American diner-style venue — it houses a 350-seat restaurant as well as a more casual café up the front of the building.

    We recommend getting one of the two-seater tables or a seat at the bar. Your picks will should include a martini (or two) and a few meat dishes — the beef tartare is a speciality ($28) and you really can’t go past the hanger steak with cafe de Paris butter ($34). If all goes well, share the ice cream parfait and a nightcap.

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    The beauty of Estelle is that you can pick and choose exactly what side of things you’re up for, as the venue is not one but two. Select from either degustation menu vibes (Estelle by Scott Pickett, the fancier venue) or more casual a la carte at Estelle Bistro next door — you can indulge (and pay) as much or as little as you like.

    While ESP has proved itself to be a beyond A+ option for special spousal times, the bistro is by no means a back-up option. It has a hat and some lush modern main course options and a pretty reasonable price to prove it — like on Sundays, when it does a three-course lunch with a glass of wine for $55. Either way, if you just want the date to be free some awkward menu selections, opt for one of a few tasting menus, with three- or five- course options.

     

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    Juliet is one of those places in Melbourne that has the magical ability to transport you somewhere else — when you walk down the stairs from longstanding Melbourne institution Punch Lane, you’ll find a Parisian-like basement jazz club. Muted lighting, a charcuterie cabinet and the soft twang of a double bass are masterfully aided and abetted by the French waitstaff who greet and seat you.

    The bar also does a weekly raclette night, which is lucky, because nothing says ‘celebrate us’ like hot cheese. Drinks wise, the wines by the glass rotate every night depending on what bottles the first customers decide to open. And, 80 percent of the wines on the list come from female producers — you can use that one as a conversation starter, if you like.

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    Stokehouse

    Since the 2014 fire that burnt it to the ground, it’s since been renovated and turned into a buzzing ‘precinct’ of multiple bars and restaurants. There’s fish and chip kiosk Paper Fish, ground floor casual beachside venue Pontoon. And up top is the good old Stokehouse restaurant itself, back to its usual tricks. This is special occasion dining, but it will feel like you’ve taken your significant other on a mini holiday. Try and nab a table next to the window for sunset views over the beach with some oysters, parmesan sticks and fancy fish and chips.

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    Did someone say meat? Greville Street’s Angus and Bon is slinging it every day of the week. It’s a New York-inspired steakhouse that’s set up shop in the former Prahran Post Office, and the menu is centred around the kitchen’s woodfire grill.

    Alongside plates like confit lamb ribs and pork croquettes, there’s a truly hefty array of beef options — choose from quality cuts like a 30-day aged rib eye on the bone, or a grass-fed scotch fillet, teamed with a range of classic sauces and sides. The back restaurant space tempts long, lazy dinners with its luxe banquettes and moody lighting, so get a little dressed up and take your time lingering over dessert (what landmark anniversary is complete without it?).

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    Head to the south side of town to Hampton for dinner in both solid and liquid form; here, the wines are just as important as what you’ll be eating. Just near Hampton Station and jazzing up an otherwise sleepy strip, Hampton Wine Co. is expertly run by an ex-Jacques Reymond team. The menu is made up of sharing plates with an emphasis on meat and seafood, but there are enough veg options to satisfy any surprise dietary requirements. The bar is also a boutique bottle shop, so if you don’t finish whatever wine you order from the menu, you can just take it home with you for a nightcap at yours.

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    The names behind cult favourite Tipo 00 have managed to hit it out of the ballpark again with their wine bar Osteria Ilaria. Taking over the Little Bourke Street space next door to its legendary pasta bar sister, the newer venue complements rather than competes, steering away from Tipo’s pure Italianness to take an even bigger bite out of Europe.

    Our pick for your night of celebration is, perhaps, the rich roasted duck for two — with a honey-sweet jus balanced by bitter radicchio and the crunch of hazelnuts ($46). And, dessert time being mandatory means you’ll discover the incredible things that can happen when someone crafts a chocolate mousse on olive oil ($14). Definitely a place to treat your partner, whether it’s a two-decade or two-month anniversary.

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As you drink and dine with your American Express, reap all the sweet rewards of being a Card Member. Explore the many ways American Express has your back here.

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