by James Ridenour
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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

Proud Mary

Proud Mary is one of those uber popular Collingwood in the know cafes.  Tucked away on Oxford Street in the middle of the trendy urban loft warehouse district you will find this cool and comfortable northern favourite. Proud Mary is a slick warehouse conversion with exposed brick walls, chalk board menus, bar stools, a few […]

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Yum Cha at Spice Temple

I recently had the pleasure of enjoying Yum Cha at Spice Temple.  To describe it in a word it was exemplary. Spice Temple is Neil Perry’s 3rd Melbourne restaurant and bar (with Rosetta Neil’s 4th restaurant soon to open).  The restaurant is located in Melbourne’s Crown Complex and is situated right next to Rockpool Bar and […]

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Hophaus Bier Bar Grill

Ever since my trip to Munich I have fallen in love with German hospitality.  The people are so genuine warm and engaging.  I will never forget my trip to the five lakes district in Bavaria where they have live jazz in the summer afternoons at an outdoor picnic area which is serviced by a beer hall. […]

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Cutler & Co

Every once in a while there is a sublime moment in your life when everything comes together and you are at one with the universe.  Cutler & Co is the dining equivalent of this. Located on Über trendy Gertrude Street, Fiztroy Cutler & Co is without a doubt one of the best dining experiences you […]

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Umberto Espresso Bar

Ciao!  Make no mistake, this is my local.  I feel like family at Umberto’s, I am welcomed, made to feel at home and even taught a bit of basic Italian.  Bellissimo! This is the charm of this modern inner-urban cafe.  It has a bit of an old school/old country flair that makes it inviting and […]

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Rockpool Bar & Grill Melbourne

Rockpool has long been my go to restaurant for guests who are looking for great steaks and seafood with a contemporary and elegant dining room.  Located on the banks of the Yarra River in the Crown Casino complex, Rockpool delivers time and time again. The service, food and ambiance are always impeccable and the view […]

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Brunetti’s

One of the greatest things about Melbourne is its multiculturalism.   Melbourne profited from a large migration of Italians who came post world war two in search of a better life for themselves and their families.   The majority of these new Melburnians settled in the inner north and Melbourne’s Little Italy, Lygon Street was […]

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Hardware Société

You don’t make the top 10 on TripAdvisor unless you are doing whatever you are doing really well and Hardware Société is all that and a magnum of champagne.   This is easily one of my top three places in Melbourne for breakfast.  Let’s face it if you are one place behind Vue de monde […]

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Le Bon Ton

Darlin…….you had me at southern style buttermilk fried chicken! Le Bon Ton is fast becoming one of Melbourne’s hottest in the know restaurants, cocktail bars and absinthe saloons.  Located on Gipps Street in Collingwood this conversion from the old Glass House nightclub has brought life back into this glorious old pub. Themed as an American […]

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Lupino Italian Bistro

I had high expectations when visiting Lupino as it is part owned by Richard Lodge, ex-partner in my favourite Italian restaurant Becco. Lupino did not disappoint. Richard was as always the consummate host and what was supposed to be a pasta and a glass of wine turned into a full meal. I am glad I […]

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