With a grand hotel of yesteryear aesthetic, Gimlet is Melbourne’s hottest ticket right now, with food, wine, cocktails and service polished to blinding sheen. But there’s just as much reason to go for the room – one of the country’s best.
The nuts & bolts
If there’s ever been a Melbourne dining room that has been heralded as offering glamour and respite in equal measure, it’s chef Andrew McConnell’s most recent venue, Gimlet at Cavendish House.
Set in a landmark 1920s building on leafy Russell Street in the Melbourne CBD, the new cocktail bar and dining room brings classic European charm and enigma to the heart of Melbourne.
“I first saw the space in Cavendish House about 15 years ago and instantly knew it would be a great place to dine,” says Andrew McConnell. “The central columns moor not just the space but the entire building. They command the room and tell you exactly what it needs – an excellent bar.”
It’s the immersive experience of dining in these large-scale dining rooms that not only creates magic, but the food, the drinks list, the attentive service, the hum, all combine to create the intangible and the immeasurable that Andrew McConnell seems to know we need before we do.
The menu, like the space, suits any occasion, from oysters and snacks to shared mains of premium wood-fired meats and seafood – there’s even a caviar service. The bar offers comfort, serving classic cocktails – its namesake, of course – and an extensive list of benchmark international wines.
“The dining style is refined but relaxed, and totally malleable,” says wine buyer, Anthony Pieri. “We’re just as ready to offer guests a light, bright glass of red wine with a quick weekday lunch, as a gastronomic dinner that starts with cocktails and Champagne, and stretches late into the night with wine, Port and whisky.”
Nostalgia without cliché and a glamour that oozes quiet confidence, Gimlet is a place in which to lose time, celebrate, commiserate, to just relax. It’s yours, Melbourne.