by James Ridenour
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The Estelle

The Estelle has always intrigued me.  Fresh, bold and outside the main geographical area one would think of for fine dining.  What that brings to the table is a fresh approach to dining.  Neighbourhood style, with families, friends and singles all enjoying an excellent meal matched with very special wines all at a very reasonable price.  Besides the incredible food the big stand out for me was the service.  Not afraid to enjoy some banter with their guests the team to and fro with the patrons making the experience even more special.  From a service aspect getting this type of service style right is tricky and the team at The Estelle pull it off with flair and panache.

The Estelle has been newly renovated and now features two dining areas, the bistro with its more casual approach to dining including one of the best outdoor dining areas in the north with an outdoor patio that is sleek and cool with an air of sustainability.  It’s perfect for the warmer weather and a very well put together space.   ESP is the new kid on the block with it’s upscale degustation menu and slick elegant dining room.    Everything is well thought out and well placed.  You know you are in a professional restaurant when the staff are worried about how well the table settings line up.  I love it!

The kitchen team is headed up by the brilliant Scott Pickett.  The food in brilliantly put together, sophisticated, whimsical and well balanced.  The plating is as pleasing to the eye as the flavour is to the taste buds.  I simply can’t fault the restaurant or its front of house team.

I was lucky enough to enjoy the eight course degustation menu with match wines all for an incredibly reasonable price by Melbourne standards.

My tip, beg and borrow but you won’t need to steal to get to Northcote and give the eight course menu with matched wines an audition!  You will find yourself enjoying a standing ovation evening!

The Estelle is located at 243 High Street, Northcote and can be contacted on 03 9489 4609.

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