I review restaurants for the Sunday Age, including brunch spots. I was charmed by Glass Den in Coburg, a sprawling cafe in the old gatehouse at Pentridge Prison.
Their Bluestone Benedict (slow-cooked beef on housemade roti) set me up for the whole day. I love grabbing a stool at Market Lane (Prahran Market) for coffee, a croissant and shopping list rationalisation.
You want to feel cosy and tucked away, especially for winter dates, so Trattoria Emilia is perfect. It’s off Flinders Lane and they do traditional Modenese food (from the north of Italy).
The newly opened Philippe ticks all the date-night boxes too: French food in a CBD basement den is the very definition of romance.
Sometimes dates work better in more boisterous venues: think about Mr Miyagi (hip Japanese in Windsor) or Supernormal (Flinders Lane, where seats at the bar with a view of the kitchen offer heaps of talking points).
Home is always good! My favourite winter meal is a minestrone with buttered leeks which I make in my Thermomix in 20 minutes.
Otherwise, even busy restaurants are usually quiet early in the evening, which makes them a good option for sneaking in and out with the kids.
To see & be seen
I’m not so big on being seen but I love having a champagne or three at Bar Di Stasio and admiring the absolute artistry of the waiters there.
A fancy dinner
A big group
I would chat to the guys at the Grosvenor Hotel, where they can sort you out for charcuterie, burgers and a swag of pizzas in the cocktail bar, do a whole suckling pig, or cater a bespoke dinner in a private room.
Read the original article here.