Anticipation is high in Melbourne’s food scene as the NOMAD Group prepares to unveil their latest creation, Reine & La Rue.
The grand opening is set for 1st August 2023, offering both lunch and dinner.
Reviving Melbourne’s Heritage
Nestled within the historic neo-gothic Melbourne Stock Exchange, dating back to the 1890s, Reine & La Rue redefines dining in Melbourne. It’s the result of meticulous work by NOMAD Group founders Al and Rebecca Yazbek, in collaboration with Heritage Victoria, RBA Heritage Architects, and Akin Atelier. The once austere stock exchange is now a cosy 150-seat dining space, beautifully divided into three distinct areas.
Delectable French-Inspired Cuisine
Reine & La Rue boasts an inspired menu from Executive Chef Jacqui Challinor and Head Chef Brendan Katich. The French-influenced offerings range from individual snacks to main dishes and larger plates for sharing. The chefs’ idea is to let diners tailor their dining experience. “Whether they want snacks and Champagne at the bar, a three-course meal in a cosy booth, or a table full of plates to share, we want to cater to their desires,” says Challinor.
Seafood aficionados will enjoy offerings like queen scallop with truffle butter and Corner Inlet calamari. Vegetarian options include roast leeks vinaigrette with hazelnuts. Meat lovers can choose from a selection of Victorian beef sourced from reputable suppliers like Blackmore and O’Connor, cooked on a wood-fired hearth.
Dessert is an integral part of French cuisine, and Pastry Chef Vencenza Soto is not holding back. The dessert menu features creations like chocolate, espresso & caramel tart, and Jersey milk soft serve.
In line with NOMAD Group’s philosophy, Reine & La Rue will spotlight the finest Australian wines, focusing on Victorian producers. The list also features an impressive selection of French and American wines. Cocktail lovers aren’t forgotten, with classics such as Martinis and Manhattans given a creative spin.
La Rue Speakeasy
Adding to the allure of Reine & La Rue is La Rue, an eight-seat speakeasy tucked away from the main dining room. Here, patrons can explore a different wine and cocktail list while enjoying the full food menu.
The Yazbeks wanted to strike a balance between preserving the building’s history and providing a modern, comfortable dining space. “Reine & La Rue is all about balance,” Rebecca Yazbek notes. The interior, enriched with custom furnishings and art, successfully juxtaposes the historic limestone walls and vaulted ceilings with contemporary aesthetics.
To experience this unique blend of French cuisine and Melbourne heritage, visit Reine & La Rue at 380 Collins St. The restaurant is open from 12pm onwards, Tuesday to Saturday, and for dinner from 5pm til late.