Tucked away just near Jolimont station, Hemingway's Wine Room is a chic, French-inspired wine bar complete with all the classics. With a small collection of red-lined booths flanked by a bookcase of wine bottles, it's perfectly positioned for a cheeky meal and a glass of vino before a game at the MCG.
Pair their punchy beef tartare – replete with enough pickle to keep this Italian-Australian humming – or the meaty octopus tentacles with a delicate slather of romesco, with a glass of something European. They have plenty on offer for drinks, from an easy-drinking French rosé by the glass to a more obscure (but nonetheless delicious) Slovenian Sivi Pinot.
Although the Duck à l'Orange is certainly tempting on a cold day, and the whole grilled calamari with a chorizo, prawn and risoni stuffing dunked in a saffron and seafood bisque is reminiscent of the best of French-tinged Morocco, it's the fish of the day that has my vote. Paired with creamy potato dauphinoise, wild mushrooms and a deliciously acidic Champagne and leek fondue, it is easily their best crowd pleaser. Don't forget an order of their sweet potato fries – the salting levels are a winner.
Finished off with a milk chocolate mousse topped with raspberry, toasted hazelnuts and caramel ice cream? Sometimes the classics turn out to be exactly what you're looking for.