Lately in Twitter-land there’s been some press circulating about people posting negative reviews on social media sites possibly being sued for defamation. So I had to think twice about whether to give Grossi Florentino Grill a NOT.

Let me start off with note (plea) to Guy Grossi. I don’t have a personal vendetta against you. I applaud your contribution to Melbourne’s dining scene and I even have your cookbook! The following is merely an honest account of our meal and after some thought I couldn’t in clear conscience call our meal HOT even though your restaurant is a venerated Melbourne dining institution.

Let’s begin with the NOTs (apologies for the dark photos – dark restaurant):

  • One of our number ordered the lobster tortellini and chose to return it to the kitchen as the filling tasted of uncooked lobster mousse. Apparently that’s the way it’s supposed to be?;
  • My duck breast was slightly on the dry side (not enough to return it to the kitchen) but I can excuse it because it was a lean cut of duck breast ($35);
  • RM’s main course dish consisted of three fat sausages and a pile of Tuscan kale.  The sausages were lolling about on the plate as if half the meal had already been eaten.  For $36 you’d want those sausages (say approx $10 each, if you count the kale as a side dish of $6) to blow you away and maybe do your taxes. They were good, but not that good.

Grossi Florentino Grill bourke street melbourne

  • My lemon and lime tart dessert was particularly disappointing. The best way I can describe it was that it tasted like it’d been pulled out of the chill cupboard of Michel’s Patisserie. My forgettable $18 dessert was only moderately redeemed by the creamy pine nut ice cream.

Grossi Florentino Bouke Street Melbourne

What about the HOTs?

  • We were particularly troublesome diners that night – my friend returned her lobster tortellini and we asked to switch tables before dessert because we had one person arrive late. All of our requests met with the same professional, smiling, nothing-is-too-much-trouble manner.
  • The replacement pasta marinara looked and tasted fresh and was a good serving size for a light meal ($28).

Grossi Florentino Grill bourke Street melbourne

  • I liked the waitresses’ black jersey wrap dresses with a keyhole cutout detail, designed by Leona Edmiston
  • I liked the dark wooden and quintessentially European feel of the décor, including the large mirrored wall. Elegant.
  • The chocolate soufflé from the main Grossi menu was stunningly presented in its own little copper pot and was a lovely gooey consistency – but it did cost $26 (the cost of a pasta) so you’d hope so.

Grossi Florentino Grill Bourke Street Melbourne

So for me, on balance Grossi Florentino Grill was a disappointing NOT. I just felt that I’ve eaten the same dishes elsewhere, done better and cheaper. Anyway, next time I think I’d like to try the Grossi Cellar Bar. Jenny tells me it’s the same kitchen, same quality and much better value for money.

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