The Grace Darling
The Grace Darling Hotel has long been turning heads because of its inability to aesthetically wane despite being the second oldest pub in Melbourne. It bears a marvellously uninjured stone exterior and a recently refurbished, smart interior accommodating a number of social exploits such as evening drinks, live music or fine dining.
A menu which is nothing exorbitant is a portrait of simplicity and complexity in one. Many cuisines are strewn through an assortment boasting a standout burger selection highlighted particularly by an Angus beef patty alongside an American selection of fillings.
The house made pappardelle with duck ragu is the only pasta dish on the menu, but that does nothing to sell it short. The meal is a picture of freshness, with an outstanding pappardelle exposing the culinary expertise of recently appointed head chef, Jonny Marinovich. What could have once been considered more of a specialty meat, duck has become a mainstay on restaurant menus due to its complexity of flavour. This ragu embraces every part of that and more.
An effort to buoy proven strategies has seen minimal changes made to the Grace parma of late. It was featured in Beat’s Guide to Melbourne’s Best Parmas and one can only reaffirm its beauty. It packs a hearty punch and could be considered more akin to a kiev than a parmigiana. Nonetheless, the mortadella, pork sausage and taleggio which infill the chicken breast provide for a truly sophisticated experience.
To compliment the impressive menu are four nights of specials. On Mondays, it’s a classic fish and chips night that's nothing to sneeze at. Tuesdays are pasta nights with a selection of different pasta dishes available for $15. Wednesday nights are burger nights with $9 cheeseburgers and $5 onion rings served with sriracha mayo. Sunday is the night for a roast, and for $25, you can get a succulent roast with seasonal vegies. The Grace Darling is equally benevolent as it is charming – you’ll feel as if you’ve overindulged before yielding to the candidness of your experience.
Words by Tom Parker
Image by Emilio Scalzo