The newest eatery and bar to hit Little Lonsdale Street breaks away from the stereotype of standard hotel cuisine.
When you’re searching for a rendezvous point with your gang, dinner and drinks at a hotel venue may seem an unlikely first point of call. That is, until you’re introduced to Pretty Boy and Floyd’s.
Located in the Novotel/Ibis Hotel Melbourne Central, Pretty Boy Italian Steakhouse and Floyd’s Bar are inspired by New York’s Little Italy and the checkered history of Little Lonsdale Street’s gangster past. Both the restaurant and bar have a relaxed vibe and ooze sophistication.
Start your stint on Level 2 at Floyd’s Bar. Inspired by America’s Robin Hood, the notorious and charming bank robber Charles Arthur Floyd who gained a reputation as a youthful and smart looking gangster, the drinks on offer at Floyd’s bar are equally attractive and impressive. The dedicated spritz and negroni cocktail menu offers unique takes on classics. Try the “Messed up”, featuring Campari, vermouth, procescco and olives, or the “Elderflower Sour” with St. Germain, gin, cointreau, egg white and fresh lemon juice.
Serve the next portion of your time on Level 1 at Pretty Boy Italian Steakhouse. Here, Head Chef Michael Smith’s (ex Tonka and Mamasita) love of food is clear through his curated menu and execution of the dishes. The influence of having grown up with European friends is highlighted in the Italian themed dishes, with just a hint of American flair. The open kitchen in the centre of the restaurant tantalizes diners with chefs expertly preparing their meals and delicious smells filling the room.
To start, opt for the house focaccia with perfectly salty prosciutto butter. Before you fill up on bread like I did, make sure you save some room for the kingfish crudo served with orange, fennel and purple basil. The simple, refreshing flavours of this dish are deliciously balanced.
If the word truffle immediately makes your ears perk up, you can’t go past the house made gnocchi with black truffle, porcini and portabello ragout. It’s undoubtedly some of the best gnocchi I have tried, each bite is generously coated in ragout and will literally melt in your mouth.
Those that can’t escape the lure of seafood might like to tackle the fresh whole baby barramundi with preserved lemon and fresh gremolata.
Carnivores will delight in the perfectly cooked and tender O’Connor scotch fillet with onion rings and red wine jus. Add a side of the mash potato, which has the perfect amount of butter and is a fluffy and flavoursome dish.
Of course, no meal is complete until dessert has been served. The house-made cheesecake is not only pretty and Instagram-worthy, but utterly delicious. The tiramisu cheesecake has been refined and perfected by head chef Michael, with the ideal coffee flavour and cheesecake texture.
Though I wouldn’t normally want to be tagged as a snitch, Pretty Boy Italian Steakhouse and Floyd’s Bar are worth telling you about – even if it does mean I am branded a stool-pigeon, which by the way, is not on the menu.
Pretty Boy Italian Steakhouse is located on Level 1 of the hotel and is open for breakfast on weekdays from 6:30am-10:30am and on weekends and public holidays from 6:30am-11:0 am. Open daily for dinner from 6:00pm-9:30pm.
Floyd’s Bar is located on Level 2 of the hotel and is open from 2:00pm-11:00pm daily.