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Wine Bar

Poly

Nothing tastes as good as a celebratory meal, and oh do I have reason to be celebrating today. After barely 3 years out of university, Chris (aka my other half) has been promoted to a senior software developer! He’s of course stoked, and don’t tell him I said this because he’s already had so many congratulations that he’s running the risk of getting a big head, but I’m also completely thrilled – for him, and for this excellent excuse to splash out on dinner at Poly.

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Restaurant Hubert

I’m not much of a birthday person. I know plenty of people who use birthdays as an excuse to have a month-long celebration but frankly? I just don’t have that much energy. For me, what birthdays really amount to is a chance to have a good meal, where you splurge a bit on something you normally wouldn’t have. This year however, things are a little different. Not only am I in a brand-new city, instead of one full of restaurants I’ve been lusting over for years, I’m also on a significantly tighter budget on account of living away from home. But after much research and changing of minds, I eventually settled on Restaurant Hubert to celebrate turning 25 (ugh).

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Osteria Ilaria

Rarely has a restaurant impressed me on the first visit the way Tipo00 did. Their meticulously hand-crafted pasta dishes were melt-in-the-mouth scrumptious, and each subsequent visit has been similarly astounding, and well worth the ridiculous wait times. So when the geniuses behind Tipo opened Osteria Ilaria a couple years later, all of Melbourne were waiting with bated breath to see if it lived up to its reputation. As it turns out, we needn’t have worried. Following Tipo’s example, Osteria Ilaria soon snapped up another Best New Restaurant of the Year Award, with accolades coming out of its ears, and queues extending down the street. But unlike Tipo, Osteria Ilaria is not a quaint little pasta bar. Hot on the tail…

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Embla

There’s nothing that perks me up quite like a good meal at a wine/tapas bar. The cosy venue, sophisticated and indulgent atmosphere, and parade of small but exquisitely designed dishes (and maybe a drink or two!) never fails to put me in a good mood. And for the longest time, my go-to spot has been MoVida Next Door. Of course, I knew about Embla – who doesn’t? It’s only the Age Good Food Guide’s best new restaurant of 2016 – but I’ve never quite mustered myself up for the visit, despite having almost-went several times.

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City Wine Shop

Everyone knows The European, the quintessential, well, European restaurant and wine bar. Slightly well known is City Wine Shop right next door, set back into an alcove with nothing but a small sign proclaiming ‘bottle shop’ to give it away. But City Wine Shop is no slouch. With its food coming directly from the kitchen of The European, this little wine bar boasts a selection of nibbles, an impressive rotating menu scrawled onto a blackboard, and of course an extensive selection of wines. I found service to be a little confusing, as I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to find my own spot, or wait for someone to seat me. But that’s understandable enough, as every other person through…

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Marion

It is a widely known fact that everything Andrew McConnell touches turns to gold, but as much as I adore the man, I have had a few lacklustre experiences in his slew of amazing restaurants. Still, that ratio doesn’t stop me from being excited when I heard about the opening of Marion, a companion wine bar to his Modern Australian magnate, Cutler and Co. Located right next door to Cutler and Co, Marion is housed in one of the many historic buildings that are a feature of Gertrude Street. Spread across two storefronts with the middling wall knocked out, the front half consists of a bar and quaint tables for couples, whilst further in you’ll find the large open kitchen…

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