Tucked away in North Melbourne on the edge of the main drag is a small French restaurant called Libertine. I've been going there for several years to functions upstairs as well as the restaurant proper. It's good, solid bistro cooking, on the edge of one hat status.
I've recently discovered their lunch deals however. Lunch is $45 for three courses from a short carte including a glass of (adequate) wine - but the attraction for me is it's available on Saturday, and its $10 BYO for great stemware and decanters. The waitress knew her stuff when our 1985 Margaux was whisked off, filtered and decanted and came back with comments about how good 85 was for bordeaux. Food was great - a good rabbit terrine, a well executed entrecote with a peppercorn sauce (not a floury pepper gloop a la my local pub), well kept cheese - and didn't overreach.
On top of this, the last Saturday of each month is a four course long lunch for $60 - fixed start time, lots of classics (past couple of months have seen pate, rillettes, cauliflower veloute, boeuf bourgignon, coq au vin, tarte fine, tarte tatin) and still BYO.
I like dinner here, but sometimes the cooking can be a bit patchy for the price - I'm a Saturday lunch convert. Great winelist, and a good wine shop within 100m.
This looks good, we are planning a weekend in Melbourne and I want to pack in two lunches and two dinners. This could be one to try.
I like libertine and definitely would go back. However, I think their desserts are a little lack lustre. From my own meal meal and my partners, if you stick with classic French mains and entrée, it seems to be right on the money. Wine list is interesting and we ended up drinking a Pinot Blanc from Oregon.