by James Ridenour
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James Ridenour

About James Ridenour

Your man in Melbourne - Local Expert - Worldwide Contacts - Chef Concierge Clefs d'Or at the InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto - Assistant General Secretary Les Clefs d'Or International

Author Archive | James Ridenour


For me Cecconi’s has long been one of the mainstays of fine dining in Melbourne.  My first recollection of someone I trusted raving about a fine dining establishment was a restaurant manager friend of mine who said Cecconi’s Cantina (back when it was located the Crown Casino Complex) was the finest Italian restaurant in Melbourne. Cecconi’s made […]

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South of Johnston

One of Melbourne’s best kept secrets for a place to meet for breakfast or lunch is South of Johnston.  It has great food, superb service and an intriguing design with an edgy location in the Collingwood warehouse district.  South of Johnston however has one thing that sets them apart from the others.  They have an […]

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Northern Git

If you don’t live in Thornbury you should.  Bars, cafes and restaurants are all popping up at an amazing speed.  What is more remarkable than the speed is the quality of these new venues.  Case in point Northern Git.  It makes living in Thornbury that much better. Northern Git is the invention of Michael Slade […]

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Fatto Bar & Cantina

One of the great pleasures in life is finding something wonderful and new.  It’s even better when it has been staring you in the face the whole time. Fatto Bar & Cantina is just that place.  Situated right next to the stunning Princes Bridge Fatto Bar & Cantina is exactly what Melbourne needs, a great […]

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Il Bacaro

Welcome to my pick for one of Melbourne’s most romantic Italian restaurants.  Crisp white linen table cloths, stainless steel, glass and wood accents, intimately spaced tables and banquettes all huddle together to create a very special space.  I just love this restaurant and my guests love it too. The food is classic Italian with all […]

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The Yarra Valley’s newest hot spot is Meletos which is guest accommodation, function space, restaurant, bar and brew house all rolled into one.  Open seven days a week this little gem will not be a secret for very long. The property grows its own grapes and apples and the wonderfully appointed accommodation looks out over […]

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Discover High Street Northcote & Thornbury

As a concierge I spend a lot of time recommending places that are easily accessible to my guests.  Most prefer to enjoy locations that are within a few kilometres of the city centre and the hotel.  There is a huge variety of great things to see and do within these parameters, but there is more […]

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From the über talented duo (Angie and Guy) that brought you one of my all time favourite restaurants in Melbourne (Epocha) we now have what will no doubt be number two in their expanding restaurant empire, Elyros. Elyros is a Cretan restaurant (from the Island of Crete in Greece).  A visit to Elyros is like […]

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You’re Melbourne – Bespoke Photographic Experience

Meet You’re Melbourne.  Penny and Sandy pictured below have come up with an ingenious idea to marry their love of Melbourne with their love of photography and people.  You’re Melbourne provide a stunningly unique excursion into Melbourne with a couple of easy going, fun and knowledgable Melburnians.   The idea is to enjoy Melbourne with […]

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Chez Dre

Chez Dre has really become the in the know place for those who are looking for an authentic French Patisserie and Boulangerie (pastry shop and bakery).  Located just off one of Melbourne’s most charming streets, Coventry Street in South Melbourne this miracle of heaven exists to keep the French ex-pats sane and make the rest […]

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