Popular restaurateur Scott Pickett has unveiled the latest evolution of his iconic Northcote venue Estelle. The new era of the restaurant and bar has been designed to cater for all occasions, from a glass of wine to a full tasting menu experience for which Pickett has become renowned. The menu has been crafted in line with contemporary Australian dining, offering lighter snacks and share plates at the bar, and a more substantial offering in the dining room. 243 High Street, Northcote, Victoria, 3070. (03) 9489 4609.
Di Stasio Citta
Di Stasio has returned to Melbourne’s city centre for the first time in 30 years with the opening of Di Stasio Citta on Spring Street, opposite Treasury Gardens. The Di Stasio name is synonymous with their popular long-standing Italian café in the bay-side precinct of St Kilda and now Rinaldo returns to where it all began. Di Stasio Citta is a unique space, a combination of Italian hospitality, food and drink, architecture and art. The newest restaurant will resemble its St Kilda sibling with a strong focus on homemade pasta. 45 Spring Street, Melbourne, Victoria, 3000. (03) 9070 1177.
Bar Clara is a new intimate basement bar in Chinatown that aims to push the envelope on what the modern cocktail can be by taking advantage of the amazing seasonal produce available to Melbourne. The bar has adopted culinary techniques usually found in cutting edge kitchens to extract the best flavour and textures to create sophisticated cocktails. It’s a simple menu of traditional cocktails with a modern twist, Victorian craft beers, a European influenced wine list and bar bites. 87 Little Bourke St, Melbourne, Victoria, 3000.
From 26 March until April 13, meat enthusiasts will delight in the opportunity to try the tastes of award-winning Berwick restaurant MPD Steak Kitchen, without having to travel the distance. Popping up for three weeks only, Executive Chef Chris Bonello (formerly of Vue Group) will serve a curated menu of contemporary Australian fare, composed of the venue’s past and present signatures, along with a range of the highest quality steak for which MPD is renowned. The MPD pop-up Kitchen will be housed in the space formerly known as MoMo Restaurant below the Grand Hyatt within Melbourne’s Spice Market. Beaney Lane, Melbourne VIC 3000
Young’s Wine Rooms
An iconic former Young’s Auction House in Hawthorn East has been transformed into a new culinary home with a Mediterranean focus. The new venture, from the team behind Vietnamese inspired St. Cloud Eating House, includes a dedicated bar, restaurant and internal courtyard for alfresco-style dining. The modern, seasonal menu spans the intersecting tastes of Southern Italy, the Iberian Peninsula, Greece, Anatolia, Dalmatia and the Istrian Coast. The wine list offers a mix of Australian and new-world offerings alongside a smart selection from classic regions in France, Italy and Spain and interesting offerings from Georgia, Greece and Croatia. 227-229 Camberwell Road, Hawthorn East, Victoria, 3123. (03) 9882 6699.
OPPEN All Day
Inner-city suburb of Windsor continues its culinary resurgence with the opening of Scandi inspired Oppen All Day. Opened by Vietnamese chef Zume Pham and wife Amy Vo, the pair brought back a Swedish flavour to the area, on and off the plate, after they were inspired by a honeymoon to Scandinavia. The Nordic menu has a twist of Vietnamese and modern Australian flavours while the interior has incorporated the Swedish term lagom, meaning ‘just the right amount’. 20/2 Maddock Street, Windsor, Victoria, 3181. (03) 9077 0430.
Nagambie Brewery and Distillery
The multi-million dollar Nagambie Brewery and Distillery is now open on the edge of Lake Nagambie in the regional town of Nagambie, 90 minutes from Melbourne. The former police camp has been transformed by Melbourne architecture firm Six Degrees into a modern brewery and distillery featuring unspoiled water views, sleek architecture, craft beverage and wood-fired eats. A concrete, steel and brass bar and paneled doors open to an expansive deck space with its sweeping lakeside views. Inside, the space is flanked by two closed combustion fireplaces, offering a homely feel that will be warmly welcomed in the cooler months. 295-299 High Street, Nagambie, Victoria, 3608.
No.7 Healesville is a new state-of-the-art communal urban winery, tapas bar and event space in the heart of the Yarra Valley dedicated to fostering the next generation of Australian winemakers. The space has been established by the Fraser family to provide a facility to new winemakers to produce small batch wine under professional expert guidance. The adjoining tapas bar serves traditional Spanish classics from local produce. Visitors can get involved in the wine making process beginning in March with a 2019 Coterie Vintage Membership, which includes 2 workshops, barrel tasting, dinner and six bottles of the inaugural Shiraz. 7 Lilydale Rd, Healesville, Victoria, 3777. (03) 8727 3000.
The regional township of Daylesford has received a touch of Melbourne with the opening of new boutique Buster McGee. After a tree-change in 2017, owner Alexander Hancocks has set up a retail experience based on a warm welcome, personal service and products. Buster McGee stock clothing by Scotch & Soda, grooming products from TheGroomedManCo, Klein's Perfumery, and Proraso, leather bags, satchels, wet packs and wallets from Oran Leather, plus a number of smaller gift items, from carefully-sourced suppliers. 10 - 12 Howe Street, Daylesford, Victoria, 3460. (03) 5377 3618.
Yield Restaurant and Provedore
Simon Stewart, former head chef of Bespoke Harvest in Forrest, has opened Yield Restaurant and Provedore in Birregurra, on the site of Birregurra Farm Foods. The restaurant champions locally sourced ingredients with simple and fresh eight-course dishes. The local connection extends to the tables, hand crafted by Stewart with wood sourced from the community and friends. 43 Main Street, Birregurra, Victoria, 3242. (03) 5236 2611.
Arts will take centre stage in March with a host of new exhibitions opening across Victoria.
Melbourne street artist Rone has temporarily transformed deserted 1930’s Art Deco mansion Burnham Beeches into his largest and most ambitious project yet. Set amongst the decaying glory of a once-magnificent manor in Melbourne’s Dandenong Ranges, Rone’s Empire is a sensory experience that combines art, vision, sound, light, botanical design and scent to take audiences on a hauntingly immersive journey. Thematically linked to the seasons, 12 rooms feature a series of the artist’s evocative monochrome ‘Jane Doe’ portraits loom large on walls and furnished with over 500 individual antique pieces. The exhibition ends on 22 April. Burnham Beeches mansion, 1 Sherbrooke Road, Sherbrooke, Victoria, 3789.
Tudors to Windsors: British Royal Portraits
The Bendigo Art Gallery will reinforce its reputation as a leading regional art institution with the opening of their latest exhibit Tudors to Windsors on Saturday 16 March. Tudors to Windsors traces the history of the British monarchy through the outstanding collection of the National Portrait Gallery, London. Presenting some of the most significant royal portraits, the exhibition will explore five royal dynasties: the Tudors, the Stuarts, the Georgians, the Victorians and the Windsors shedding light on key figures and important historical moments. The regional hub will be transformed during the exhibition with royal fever to hit the city for the first time since Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh visited in 1954. The exhibition runs from 16 March to 14 July. 42 View Street, Bendigo, Victoria, 3550. (03) 5434 6088.
Sidney Nolan: Ned Kelly
The National Gallery of Australia’s collection of Sidney Nolan’s ‘Ned Kelly’ paintings is touring with the Geelong Gallery to host some of the most famous and poignant masterpieces of 20th-century Australian art. From 1946–47, Nolan developed an original and starkly simplified image of Ned Kelly, which quickly became a national symbol—part of the shared iconography of Australia. Together, these 26 paintings provide a masterclass on Australian art history and the development of a new figuration and landscape painting in Australian art. The exhibition runs from 2 March to 26 May. Little Malop Street, Geelong, Victoria, 3220. (03) 5229 3645.
Picasso: The Vollard Suite
The Art Gallery of Ballarat will present an exhibition of outstanding prints by one of the great masters of the twentieth century from Saturday 23 February. The Vollard Suite is regarded as one of the greatest print suites, and perhaps the most enigmatic and famous of the twentieth century. Comprising 100 intaglio prints it was made by Pablo Picasso between 1930 and 1937. Ballarat is the only Victorian venue for this national tour. Exhibition end on 28 April. 40 Lydiard St North,
Ballarat, Victoria, 3350. (03) 5320 5858.
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