• Florentino (Melbourne)

A meal upstairs at Florentino is like a classic Italian car. You’ve seen it, but never expect it to be yours. The Grossi Florentino establishment includes a casual cellar bar, a slightly less casual grill, and the very formal Florentino restaurant. I had eaten at the cellar bar and grill – both were great. But this week, I got to try lunch at the prestigious, and luxurious, Florentino upstairs.

The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival made it happen. Many fine dining restaurants open their doors to Restaurant Express for the festival. This is a set menu with two courses and a glass of wine for $40. Many will adjust the menu for dietary requirements. This is exceptional value, and allows you to try many places you would to be able to otherwise.

At a place like this, you predict fine service.  It was formal, Italian, considered and professional. It was extra special to have the chef himself, come and check how we were enjoying our meals. From the little stools to rest your bag, to the washing out of the glasses with wine before pouring, it seemed every detail was focused on giving the best experience.

We upgraded from the two courses to three courses for $50 (I could not go past the souffle dessert), and they were extremely accommodating for me as a vegetarian, suggesting several options which were made especially.

First up I had orecchiette with broccoli. The broccoli had been blended into a fine soup like sauce with subtle taste of salt and stock. The texture of the pasta was divine; fresh and hand made. Even though it was an entrée, the serving was generous.

For main I had the field mushrooms. These had been baked, then layered with sweet eggplant, pinenuts, currants and chilli. This had a mushroom juice poured over the top.

The dessert was sublime. A perfectly risen souffle that was so light and fluffy, and sunk into a perfectly textured mousse as I took too long to eat it savouring every mouthful.

My friend had the panna cotta, which was smooth and sweet.

The wine was also enjoyable. It was a Fresco Rosso Sangiovese, full bodied but smooth.

We ordered coffee (not included in the Restaurant Express). It was not with fancy latte art, but strong, delicious and Italian in style. It was served with moist, citrus flavoured biscuits.

Overall, it was an absolutely delicious meal, made into a special occasion with the beautiful room and exceptional service.

There are a few more days remaining of the festival (ends 24 March 2019) – check out the offerings of Restaurant Express and other events. Enjoy!

80 Bourke Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
03 9662 1811

Opening Hours
Monday to Friday - Lunch from 12:00pm
Monday to Saturday - Dinner from 6:00pm

Grossi Florentino Upstairs Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato