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Gimlet at Cavendish House

Bars, Restaurants Melbourne
Photograph: Supplied
Photograph: Supplied
Photograph: Supplied

Time Out says

Opening mid-July after multiple Covid-related delays, this Russell Street venue is Andrew McConnell’s first new venture in five years. But as you walk into the grandiose space, you may just decide that it was worth the wait.

The 1920s architecture of the Cavendish House building carries through to the interiors, delivered by Sydney design house ACME. Art deco flourishes, marble countertops, chandeliers and leather booths combine to create a nostalgic bistro look – a conscious nod towards the clubby dining rooms of London and New York. 

But this is, first and foremost, a cocktail bar, as the name and layout remind you. The black-and-gold marble bar is both the focal point of the space and its primary showpiece, with the dining area wrapping around it and extending to the upstairs level. Adjoining the bar is the open kitchen, which turns out snacky appetisers to accompany your drinks, as well as lunch and dinner daily. On weekends there’s an added brunch service, plus live music in the afternoons. 

The food, like the decór, flirts with Atlantic glamour. Expect indulgent ingredients like oysters, escargot, marron, truffles and dry-aged duck on the menu. Also: wood-fired everything. Head chef Allan Doert Eccles (previously at Cutler and Co, another McConnell property) is clearly having fun playing with fire. Don’t let the classic cocktails and pre-war design fool you; there’s nothing old-fashioned going on on your plate.

Until the official launch, Gimlet is open for preview dining with a $90 per person set menu. 


Address: Cavendish House
33 Russell St
Cross street: Flinders Ln
Opening hours: Mon-Thu noon-11pm; Fri noon-1am; Sat 9am-1am; Sun 9am-11pm
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