Mietta's Reviewaren Martini is back from Sydney and overseeing the Wine Room food which continues to charge accordingly. Eating is split between the noisy busy bar and this slightly strange dining room made up of two small rooms knocked together with a ceiling so high the space seems unbalanced. It feels very removed from the life and action out front. The rather uncomfortable marriage between the Wine Room's two faces is held together by the cooking and the service. It is more fun to eat in the bar but the quality of the food sits uncomfortably with the busy, buzzing area. As you would expect the wine list is good.
Other Published Opinions
Gourmet Traveller 2010 Australian Restaurant Guide Score: * "Now heading towards its 15th birthday, the dark-hued, terrazzofloored dining room behind the George Hotel's rowdy public bar still has its moody sexy looks. Fabulous service helps, as does the wideranging list of Old and New World wines that's still one of the city's best"
Age, Melbourne Magazine, Hot Larissa Dubecki, November 09
Herald Sun " It's what they call moody, and Melbourne Wine Room is an enticing tete-a-tete venue, especially now that the talented Nicky Reimer has taken over head chef duties, bringing a Mediterranean spin to the menu."
Herald Sun 20-06-09 "Nestled in The George this restaurant turns out delectable food from its bar and restaurant menus"
Age Good Food Guide 2009 Score: 15/20 "Since 1996
Gourmet Traveller 2009 Australian Restaurant Guide Score: * "Karen Martini Whether it's the buzzy, so-very-Melbourne front bar or the moody dining room out back, the dining experience at the George Hotel is always a joy. The waiters are switched on and cheerful, the wideranging wine list is impressive (lots of local and European bottles listed here) and at the heart of it all is Karen Martini's modern but comforting Italian cooking"
Herald Sun Extra Food, Bob Hart, 29-07-08 Score: *** "Nestled in the George this restaurant turns out delectable i food from both its ban and restaurant menus"
Herald Sun Eat, Bob Hart, 4-08-07 "Mercifully, the old pub - renamed the George in 1868 - is still there, but no longer offering -unparalleled views of the shipping in Hobsons Bay", as it boasted then. It would be fair to say, however, that it now offers food of a quality undreamed of in those days: it is a living, breathing (but non-smoking) reminder of the way we were, with tucker from the way we are. ... it was in that bar - rather than the adjacent, more refined restaurant - that a mate and I chose to eat lunch last week, ordering from the bar and restaurant menus, as diners are welcome to do."
Age Good Food Guide 2008 Score: 15/20
Gourmet Traveller 2008 Australian Restaurant Guide "The Melbourne Wine Room presents a dilemma; whether to stick to the front ban with its bustling conviviality augmented by a wine list boasting European and Australian boutiques, or head to the smallish bistro, where terrazzo floors, striking chandeliers and agedmirrored wall make a stylish salon"
Age Good Food Guide 2006 score 15/20
Gourmet Traveller 2006 Australian Restaurant Guide "This simple and intimate room is a world away from the adjoining bar in the George - and several hundred decibels quieter. That said, you're pretty close to your neighbours, chiefly local twenty-somethings, so keep the conversation sotto voce. Clientele may be casual, but there's nothing casual about the linen, the glassware, or the food"
Herald Sun Dining Out Simon Plant 21/6/05 Score 16/20 "Nearly 10 years after it began blazing a trail for good food and wine in St Kilda, the Melbourne Wine Room is still generous and gently priced. Service rarely misses a beat and the list of wines by the glass is one of the best in town. A stylesetter that just gets better with Age."
Age Good Food Guide 2005 score 15/20
Gourmet Traveller 2005 Restaurant Guide "A superior wine bar and restaurant downstairs at the grand old George Hotel in fashionable St Kilda, with Karen Martini back as executive chef, fine-tuning the modern Mediterranean menu"
Age Good Food Awards 2004 1 hat, score 15/20
Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide Australia 2004, 1 Black Star, Excellent wine list,'The food is simpler and less ambitious than was once the case, though still with Italian/Middle Eastern accents laid over a modern sensibility...Service and wine, as always, are beautifully handled...The wine room is a stylish and affordible option.'
Age, Epicure, Restaurants, 1/4/03, John Lethlean, Score 15/20
Herald Sun, Food&Wine, Stephen Downes, Dining Out, 19/11/02, Score 16/20
Full Restaurant Search