Congratulations Gimlet Melbourne - just announced as one of The World's 50 Best Restaurants top 100 restaurants.⁠ ⁠ Ranked #84, it’s the only Australian restaurant to make the coveted 51-100 list. ⁠

The Roaring Twenties, though primarily an American and European cultural phenomenon, sent tumultuous waves of dramatic political, social and economic change throughout the entirety of the Western world, including Australia. It was a period of unprecedented economic growth which resulted in a never-before-experienced, and perhaps overwhelming, supply of disposable income, particularly for city dwellers. Some historians credit the Roaring Twenties with having birthed the all-too-familiar idea of the “consumer society”. That is to say that people, both men and women, had money and they wanted to spend it. The decade’s popular sentiment may be captured by the following quote: “We’re here for a good time, not a long time.” Glamour, elegance, polish and sophistication ruled the aesthetic. Simply put, it was a time like no other. Although this indulgent decade commenced over 100 years ago, its spirit is alive and well and present today, in Melbourne, in the CBD, at 33 Russell Street. Welcome to Gimlet at Cavendish House.

Appropriately constructed in the 1920s, Cavendish House – occupying the site at the corner of Russel Street and Flinders Lane – is an 11-storey building designed in the Chicagoesque, or Neo-Classical, style. It also contains 29 apartments, believe it or not. Located on the street level, the 384m², 150-seat bar-eatery is the latest offering from one of the city’s most beloved restaurateurs Andrew McConnell. Prior to Gimlet’s opening in late July 2020, five years had passed since McConnell’s last contribution to Melbourne’s hospitality landscape. According to McConnell, “Opportunities like this are a rare find and when they come along, it is really exciting. The room deserves to be celebrated.” And celebrated, it genuinely and thoroughly has been!

Not surprisingly, Gimlet’s aesthetic has been driven by the very bones of Cavendish House. With the assistance of Sydney-based Acme & Co, McConnell has richly and generously reimagined all 384 square metres. In essence, entering Gimlet at Cavendish House is comparable to entering a world of nostalgia and glamour. The space welcomes visitors with an incomparable combination of warmth, tranquillity and grandeur, but it does so in a way that is neither overwhelming nor shocking. It is “a space for all seasons and reasons”. In other words, it is oozing with versatility. The centrally located square black-and-gold marble bar, more aptly described as a “haven of quality”, communicates to the newcomer that this establishment is a bar first and foremost and an eatery second. Soaring ceilings are supported by beautifully ornate art deco columns, which also divide the room into specific areas – bar seating, dining tables and booths. Despite these divisions, the overall feel of the room remains comfortable and spacious. Retro touches, including tinkling honeycomb chandeliers, polished networks of timber and tile and floor-to-ceiling sheer white curtains, imbue the space with a penetrating old-world charm. Ultimately, it is the ideal environment in which to eat and drink your night, or afternoon, away.

Visit Gimlet at Cavendish House

Visit Gimlet at Cavendish House

Book Gimlet at Cavendish House

Book Gimlet at Cavendish House

Gimlet at Cavendish House Menu

Gimlet at Cavendish House Menu

Head Chef Allan Eccles, in liaison with McConnell, has created a menu that is teeming with European charisma. A wood-fired oven is the centrepiece of the kitchen, so coal-roasted meats and vegetables feature primarily. Imagine being hidden away in a burgundy leather booth while traversing the flavours of one of the following: cured rainbow trout, mustard cucumbers and horseradish; blue eye, smoked eel, cime di rapa and parsley sauce; roast chicken, vadouvan and curry leaves; or for the carnivore experience of all carnivore experiences, an 800g dry-aged, grass-fed T-bone cooked over coals with condiments! Add a side of wood-roasted pumpkin, goat’s curd, pine nuts and sage or some King Edward potatoes with lemon-and-caper vinaigrette and your culinary adventure is complete. Beware, however, of the roaming cheese tray peddling an assortment of local and international selections, as well as the three daily flavours compliments of the on-premise Carpigiani gelato machine. Remember, you have been warned. A list of benchmark world wines has been curated by star sommelier Leanne Altmann, in the off chance that you are a wine-with-food type of diner…ahem… Of course, the name Gimlet at Cavendish House provides a not-so-subtle hint that the cocktail was the essence, the highlight, the go-to libation of the Roaring Twenties. As such, Head Bartender Cameron Parish – formerly of The Everleigh – has created a cocktail menu that pays homage to the classics but that has also brought those classics into the present, tweaking them with a bit of local this and bit of native that. Needless to say, Parish nails it.

  

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