With Valentine’s Day a little over a week away, time is ticking should you wish to lock-down those dinner reservations, romantic getaways or inner-city staycations.
However, if you’re the old school romantic where simply the dinner date will do, we have a range of special restaurants currently taking bookings for the day of love.
Impress the better half with this list of Melbourne-based restaurants perfect for Valentine’s Day.
Hidden down the back streets of South Melbourne is the new kid on the block, Half Acre; a quaint, design-driven bar, eatery and event space that offers exquisite modern Australian comfort food. As you enter through Half Acre’s naked brick facade, you’ll find a multifaceted space that will prove the perfect spot for your Valentine’s Day date. Enjoy some welcome drinks by the courtyard fireplace, and then move to your table when ready; on offer will be tasty, thoughtful food that is intended to be shared.
112 Munro St, South Melbourne
A true institution in the heart of Richmond, this family-run steakhouse has been serving patrons the best cuts of meat since 1964. Enter the homey Victorian terrace to find a dimly lit room with white tablecloths; the perfect date spot this Valentine’s Day.
For meat lovers, this is the food destination for you. Experience quite possibly the best steak in Melbourne, with award-winning, purebred Australian Wagyu beef served to perfection.
61 Bridge Rd, Richmond
Bringing guests a true touch of Italy – in particular, the Emilia-Romagna region – Trattoria Emilia is renowned for its rustic yet refined cuisine, with an ambience to match.
Owners and chefs Francesco Rota and Luca Flammia have created a kitchen where quality produce and technique are combined to serve the best interpretation of traditional Italian food. A great casual dining spot for Valentine’s Day, order a bottle of red from the Emilia-Romagna region and enjoy an intimate dining experience in the heart of Melbourne. Oh, and the homemade Tortelloni are to die for!
360 Little Collins St, Melbourne
Just like many of the listings in this guide, Lesa is so unique to Melbourne that it has only just been the talk of the town since its opening in early 2018.
Building on its downstairs counterpart’s success (Embla), what you can expect on the night is a fine-dining experience with modern finishings; the menu is set with four courses guided by head chef and co-owner Dave Verheul, who will take you on a truly beautiful food journey to be remembered. For the ultimate experience, pair your meal with wine offerings as suggested by the trusty – and knowledgable – staff.
Level 1/122 Russell St, Melbourne
Helmed by ex-Attica sous chef Peter Gunn, Ides brings to Collingwood a unique dining experience that will take patrons on a special culinary journey. In time for Valentine’s Day, Ides is preparing a special Valentines-themed ‘black box’ dessert; a black chocolate cube that guests are invited to smash open with a silver hammer.
92 Smith St, Collingwood
Little sister to Bistro Gitan, the Reymond family have created a smart, cosy, art deco restaurant & bar in L’Hotel Gitan: serving traditional French food with a modern twist.
The perfect place for your Valentine’s Day dinner (or any date night), L’Hotel Gitan is uniquely French and offers a true European dining experience without the fluff.
Steak and Frites are a must-have at L’Hotel Gitan!
32 Commercial Rd, Prahran
Carlton Wine Room
After a handsome renovation and a change of hands, the iconic Carlton Wine Room is back and better than ever before. At the helm is an experienced team involving co-owner Andrew Joy (formerly Marion) and chef John Paul Twomey (formerly Cutler & Co, Gilson, and McConnell Group). Situated on an iconic old Carlton corner, the restaurant takes inspiration from Europe intertwined with modern Australia food.
Perfect for a Valentine’s Day dinner, dishes are honest, generous and perfect for sharing (or keeping all to yourself).
72-174 Faraday St, Carlton
Pascale Bar & Grill
Quickly becoming an iconic Melbourne go-to, QT Melbourne boasts not only one of the best rooftops in the city (the perfect pre-Valentine’s Day dinner drink), but its restaurant in Pascale Bar & Grill is also a fine dining experience on any given night.
On offer is an expansive menu influenced by a modern day bar & grill, prepared in front of its guests with an open kitchen; adding all the theatrics and a true glimpse into a dish creation.
133 Russell St, Melbourne
Imagery supplied to Man of Style