In Brisbane it’s old-school cool, Canberra’s doing American sports-bar casual, and Melbourne has an epic steakhouse.
The food Pablo Tordesillas, former head chef at Brisbane’s Ortiga restaurant, is behind the Mediterranean-inspired bistro-style menu at this Sydney CBD eatery. Victorian mussels doused in beurre blanc complement crispy globe artichokes.
The drinks Sommelier Annette Lacey has curated a 300-strong wine list with drops such as McLaren Vale sangiovese and txakoli from the Basque region.
The atmosphere Plenty of white and green marble and blond timber adorn this semi-casual dining room.
The location Across the road from Hyde Park and a short walk from St Mary’s Cathedral.
￼18 College Street, Darlinghurst; (02) 9267 3699
The Cut @ The Alfred
The food Occupying the first floor of the spanking-new two-storey Alfred dining precinct (downstairs will be Melbourne’s first Fratelli Fresh), The Cut Steakhouse boasts an extensive menu of locally sourced, premium dry-aged meats.
The drinks A vast selection of wines (about 3500) complements spirits, cocktails, and craft beers on tap.
The atmosphere A grand staircase leads to this New York-style steakhouse with soaring walls and mood lighting.
The location Melbourne CBD, only a short walk from the Regent Theatre.
7 Alfred Place, Melbourne; 1300 253 733￼
The food Steak Diane, chicken Kiev and prawn cutlets are the old-school stars of chef Chris Sell’s menu. Using premium cuts of meat, these dishes are designed to take diners back to the comfort food of their childhood.
The drinks There are 250 Australian and international wines, a sizeable selection of spirits, plus bespoke cocktails created with house-made syrups.
The atmosphere Dark timbers and leather booths create a moody setting reminiscent of a bygoneera.
The location Just off buzzing James Street in the hip Fortitude Valley neighbourhood.
￼757 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley
Hale + Mary
The food Inspired by Gordon Ramsay’s Las Vegas joint, BurGR, the menu at Hale + Mary is chock-full of modern American offerings, from gourmet burgers to spicy buffalo chicken wings.
The drinks About 50 local, national and international wines, plus beers such as Kosciuszko Pale Ale.
The atmosphere A casual set-up in the style of an American sports bar, with more than 20 TV screens.
The location On vibrant Kingston’s edge, not far from both the lake and Manuka Oval.
9/15 Tench Street, Kingston; (02) 6239 4455
Top image: Nickel, Brisbane