Okay, lovebirds, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and, love it or hate it, it’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to woo the pants off your significant other. Now before you spend hours Googling ideas, remember this simple fact: nothing says ‘I love you’ more than a decadent candle-lit dinner at one of Melbourne’s best restaurants, paired with an amazing wine list…and dessert, of course (always dessert).
Sure, If you consider yourself a bit of a chef, go forth and get cooking, but if you’re like most of us, it’s best to let someone else handle the kitchen duties so you can get down to the important part (wink wink). Take a break from your browser and get reading because we’re about to reveal our pick of gloriously romantic Melbourne restaurants for wining and dining this Valentine’s Day. Oh…and a hint, make sure you book ahead!
We have to hand it to the Italians in the romance department – they certainly know how to put on a good show – and Tipo 00, Little Bourke Street’s newest and perhaps most refined pasta bar, is no exception. Treat your other half to a five-course Valentine’s Day feast made with love, featuring everything from squid ink tagliolini pasta with squid and bottarga to the succulent lamb rack served on a bed of fregola with cauliflower and pomegranate – sounds pretty great, hey?
Oh and how can we forget the Tipo’00’misu dessert?! This inventive tiramisu spin-off is sure to get everyone in the mood. Think chocolate fudge, filled with mascarpone and chocolate with lashings of coffee caramel – ah may- zing. Did we mention you’ll also get a glass of the Molino Proseco on arrival? Because you do.
$75 per person for 5-Course Valentine’s Day Feast
Milk the Cow
St Kilda & Carlton North
It’s no secret that at TUL we all LOVE cheese…and let’s face it, who doesn’t? Whisper sweet nothings to your cheese lover over a romantically indulgent Fromage á Trois cheeseboard starring three amazing cheeses, fresh strawberries, muscatel clusters and divine Spanish quince paste – all prepared specially by the amazing in-house cheese monger at Milk the Cow. How does the Woodside Rubi dressed with edible flowers sound? Or the heart shaped camembert-style Petit Coeur du Bray? Choose one of three perfectly matched bottles of French wine to complement your spread and settle in for a romantic evening for two. At two great locations – Carlton and St Kilda – Milk the Cow is the perfect place to kick start your night or the ultimate destination to profess your love.
Fromage á Trois Cheeseboard $28
Fromage á Trois plus a bottle of wine $65
Om Nom Head Chef and dessert extraordinaire, Christy Tania, has come up with an amazing Valentine’s Day package guaranteed to knock the socks off your super lucky lover. Once you’ve devoured half a dozen Pacific Oysters served with a glass of French champagne, you’ll get to pick four delectable dishes and two sides from the brand new grazing menu (this also comes with a matching glass of premium Aussie wine – score!). Sink those teeth into the crispy skin duck breast or devour the tempura soft shell crab – these are just SOME of many yummy dishes on offer.
And, everyone knows a trip to Om Nom just wouldn’t be complete without a fancy schmancy dessert packed with about 1000 ingredients you can’t pronounce. Yup, this is our pick if you want to woo your boo with one of Melbourne’s best desserts! Expect only the best when your special Valentine’s Signature Dessert is brought to the table alongside your choice of cocktail or dessert wine – bliss. To say you’ll be well looked after at Om Nom is an understatement.
$270 per couple
Available on Friday the 13th of February & Saturday the 14th of February
Three dining periods 6pm to 8pm, 8pm to 10pm & 10pm to close
Get massive brownie points when you arrive at one of Melbourne’s most romantic restaurants this Valentine’s Day. With a premium six-course menu to fall in love with and on-hand sommeliers to match wines to each course, Brooks lets the meal do the talking. Just the thought of the Southern rock lobster with Champagne beurre blanc or the gnocchi with mushroom cream and black winter truffle, makes us start salivating. How can you possibly choose between the raspberry mousse and the chocolate hazelnut cake for dessert? Our tip: Pick one each and get sharing!
Oh, and if you can’t make dinner, Brooks are offering a glass of champagne and a bangin’ dessert at the bar for just $50pp. Not a bad idea if it’s still early days, but you want to get involved in some good ol’ fashioned V.Day fun!
$225 per person for 6-course menu (wine not included)
$50 per person for dessert and champagne at the bar
Everyone knows atmosphere is key to a romantic evening, and what better place to wine and dine than the moody confines of Cumulus Up? This swanky yet intimate bar, located just above one of Melbourne’s best restaurants, Cumulus Inc., offers a moody European wine bar feel amid a mix of hardwood and marble furniture. In short: you want to be here this Valentine’s Day.
The chef’s selection menu is perfect for those who want a bit of everything. At just $65 a head, you’ll get a mix of the restaurant’s top dishes. And if you don’t want to be bound by set menus, Cumulus Up has their entire à la carte menu available, from mouth-watering pork rack and strap, to ricotta dumplings with burnt butter and pine nuts; there’s something to suit even the most fastidious of couples. Standout dish: chocolate and vanilla ice cream sandwich with salted caramel – need we go on?
À la carte menu available
$65 per person for chef’s selection menu
Teague Ezard and his passionate team in Flinders Lane have been busy crafting a special selection of Valentine’s Day menus to suit everyone. Whether you’re celebrating with your partner, your best friend, a tinder date or even a group of fellow singles, it’s bound to be special with a table at one of the bets restaurants in Melbourne. Choose between a six or eight-course degustation menu complete with a sumptuous selection of dishes guaranteed to send your heart a flutter and relax in style as you enjoy countless matching wines. Tables of three guests or more are available at Ezard from 7pm.
$225 per person for 6-Course Degustation with Matching Wines
Early Tables of Two (5:30 or 6pm), valid for 2.5 hours only.
$280 per person for 8-Course Degustation with Matching Wines
Late Tables of Two (from 9pm)
$280 per person 8-Course Degustation with Matching Wines
Tables of three guests or more (available from 7pm)
Transport yourself to the French Riviera in the 1950s when you step into Epocha this Valentine’s Day. With a menu taking inspiration from the uber fab high-society dinner parties of the mid 20th century, you and your dining companion will be whisked away on a romantic culinary journey! Devour six delectable courses complete with a glass of champagne upon arrival at this romantic Melbourne restaurant, and bite into everything from beetroot consommé to roasted Macedon Ranges duck, shellfish carlotta and the super amazing Baked Alaska for dessert. Whether you’re looking for lunchtime love or evening decadence, Epocha is definitely the place to be.
$125 for 6-course menu
South Yarra’s newest and perhaps most refined French steakhouse and bar shows it’s not going to be beat when it comes to Valentine’s Day celebrations, offering diners its usual à la carte menu alongside a $39.90 steak, frites and salad option – yum! All the beef served at Entrecôte is top-quality porterhouse, so all you need to do is choose how you want your steak cooked, then ooh and ahh when you take your first bite (or look longingly into your partner’s eyes). A tip from us: don’t be shy with the frites, these babies are a love affair all of their own. Once you’ve gobbled down your delicious dins there’s only one decision to make: have your dessert in or out… Crème brulee anyone?
À la carte menu available
$39.90 per person for steak, frites and salad.
Say ‘you’re the one’ with a delectable five-course chef’s tasting menu (with champagne on arrival) at Saint Crispin, and your partner will be putty in your hands! While we can’t reveal the exact menu just yet, we do know it’s going to be super special! I mean, you only have to look at what Joe Grbac and Scott Pickett have dished up in the past to know it’s gonna be good. Take, for example, that crispy buttermilk chicken with 63-degree pullet egg, cos lettuce and popcorn…Yes popcorn!! I know, right. And here at TUL, we’re still talking about the amazing chocolate turron with coconut, charcoal soil and fig leaf! In short: You’re in good hands and chances are whatever this creative duo dish up this Valentine’s Day in Melbourne, you’re going to be pretty darn happy. And hey, aren’t relationships full of surprises anyway?
$160 per person for 5-course chef’s tasting menu
No. 8 By John Lawson
It’s not every day you get to wear a rose to dinner, right? Crown favourite, No. 8 by John Lawson, is upping the ante and getting in on the Valentine’s Day action not only with a perfect menu, but also with a stunning rose for each guest! Devour a five-course menu with dishes like pan-fried baby snapper with quinoa or Barwon lamb shoulder with snap pea, mint and sheep’s yoghurt. There’s nothing sweeter than the dark chocolate ganache with strawberry sorbet and beetroot for dessert, except for maybe the lemon and basil Italian meringue and vanilla sable. Hard to choose? Wait 'til you have to decide whether or not to include matching wines for each course. Well, at only $30 per person extra, that’s a no brainer now, isn’t it?
$150 per person 5-Course Degustation
$180 per person 5-Course Degustation with matching wines
When 1806 and Hammer & Tong get together for Valentine’s Day, you just know there’s going to be fireworks. Grab your love and get yourself to Exhibition Street where you’ll guzzle back four delicious cocktails matched perfectly with four amazing dishes created by Hammer & Tong. Get things started with an amazing apperitivo style cocktail featuring Ketel One Vodka, lime sorbet, rosewater and champagne and dive head first into a sumptuous picnic sandwich brimming with Queensland spanner crab, yuzu sabayon and foraged herbs. Need we say more? You’ll also get to try a fresh cobbler style cocktail featuring Don Julio Reposado and a whole stack of other lust-have ingredients. Accompanied by a Bendigo lamb rump with charred cos, peas, eucalyptus and finger lime caviar and you’ve got the makings of the perfect Valentine’s Day dinner! You’re welcome.
Sittings: 6.30pm (out by 8pm) and 8.30pm onward
$150 per person for 4-course matched with 4 cocktails
Image credit: Brooks via Book A Restaurant