Tough Decision in Melbourne - Vue De Monde, Grossi Florentino, or Jaques Reymonds
I have three bookings for an upcoming Saturday night. I have family in town but only time for one of the following restaurants, which one is the best?
Vue de Monde
Any personal experiences or strong opinions???
Reymond - has up and down years. Currently on an up. Classical technique, degustation style eating, subdued dining room a bit like someone's front room and discreet service. A stayer on the Melbourne scene, friends went a couple of weeks ago and rated highly. I'd take my partner here but be afraid to laugh a lot.
Florentino (assume you mean upstairs) - heavy Italian influence but modern execution. Very formal dining room, quite dark, used to be jacket and tie compulsory. I'd take my mother here and she'd be impressed.
VdM - my personal preference of the three. CBD location. Closest you will get in Melbourne to Michelin star styles on the whole package (down to the cutlery etc). Waitstaff can be a bit tossy and can need active management - they don't seem to like to engage with vulgar things like how much stuff costs which can lead to unpleasant stand-offs. I'd go here to be wowed with a foodie friend.
VdM is very expensive, Grossi and Reymond merely expensive.
I know you didn't ask, but I think Cutler and Co and Attica are very close to this top tier.
Like mr_gimlet said, it depends what you prefer.
Personally I'd say Jacques Reymond for the best representation (in my mind) of Modern Australian. Highly classical (French) technique + love of Asian/Australian ingredients. Flavours tend to be subtle and fresh/light rather than hearty. Atmosphere and service are refined, elegant and a bit old-school - all pastels and skirtings in what looks like a private home.
Grossi would be my top pick for Italian (depends on what you feel like eating - all three are v different). Even more old-school than JR, the Mural Room is all dark, gold and brown tones (and a mural, of course). Food is excellent and can range from fiddly haute cuisine-ish to rustic home style. Chocolate desserts there are divine, service is also tops.
VdM is my least favourite of the three. I find the food a bit too froth & syringe-y, not that I'm against froths and syringes (ok, maybe I'm against froth) but the flavours sometimes don't compliment and some of if is just there for the sake of presentation. Sure, the dishes and the decor are good to look at, but I'm not there for those things. Service can also be a bit frustrating and I'm not a big fan of their wine list, although they seem to pride themselves on it and have wine pairing options. To me it's too much hype and too little substance. And dinner does cost an arm and both legs.
Thanks so much mr_gimlet and e_ting, this is Exactly what I was looking for!
Now I just need to sit the folks down and have them choose based on your feedback. So much better than looking at menus online or reading reviews (where they all appear about equal).
Thanks for the Cuttler & Co rec and Attica reccomendations. I will look into them for Sunday (if they are open). Right now I have Press Club for Sunday night as most other places are closed, but I havent tried those two yet (Although they do look amazing and you seem to know your stuff, may be worth reconsidering!).
I would guess that they will go for Jaques R. They love French but shy away from the very modern stuff, I will let you know how it turns out.
If you're requirements are a "top tier chef, atmosphere and food" then you can't go past Vue De Monde. I've dined there very recently and it lived up to all expectations - the food was sublime, the service was impeccable and the space itself is modern yet warm and inviting. It was a truly memorable dining experience and my partner and I absolutely loved it. If it were me, egeibel, I'd save the other two for another trip down the track - they're both great in their own ways, but Vue De Monde is the next level ...