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“A gastronomic experience!”

Jim McDougall in Stefano's Cellar
Price range: $42 - $132
Cuisines: Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions, Business meetings, Local cuisine
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Reservations
Description: Jim McDougall in Stefano's Cellar, formerly known as Stefano's Restaurant, has been a destination for food lovers for more than 20 years. With Jim McDougall as head chef, the restaurant has moved in a more modern direction, while remaining committed to local produce and creating a unique experience for the diner. Open for dinner Tuesday to Saturday, and lunch Friday to Saturday, Jim McDougall in Stefano's Cellar serves a seasonal tasting menu in the cellars of the historic Grand Hotel.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
233 reviews
157 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 139 helpful votes
“A gastronomic experience!”
Reviewed October 17, 2013

Stefano's reputation precedes any visit here - and this did not disappoint. As a degustation meal this is an experience that should be shared with people who are passionate about food - and wine!
The 6 course degustation menu really is adequate - and the $65 for matching wines is probably good value if you have a leisurely morning after! Stefano is no longer at the helm of this restaurant; his former apprentice has taken the reins while Stefano concentrates on the running of his 'Brewery' and more casual cafe around the corner from the Grand Hotel. If you are planning a trip to Mildura, there are around 15 motels to choose from; ideally one within walking distance. As I have stated in a previous review, the Grand Hotel rooms are looking rather tired.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Sally D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

218 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    145
    41
    18
    8
    6
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
North Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
238 reviews
80 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
“Absolutely superb!”
Reviewed October 16, 2013

We came on a Wednesday , and were a couple amongst a modest number of patrons on this night. The front of house were charming and welcoming. We were excited to be able to choose the 8 course option, and chose to have the wine, as we were lucky enough to be staying about two blocks away at Quest apartments.

Admittedly the dishes are small, but in reality there are about 12 courses, including the complimentary (AKA unlisted) dishes, and it would be a very large plate indeed if they were served all at once. You will not go home hungry.

The food is just simply exquisite. Every dishes is a passion of flavour, each distinct from the other, the savoury dishes demanding,(and receiving) fresh bread rolls to mop up the sauce, progressing through to a long after glow of desserts.

Admittedly we aren't food fundamentalists, but we think this compares very favourably with Quay in Sydney, and you would be bonkers to pass this by if you are anywhwere close to being in the neighbourhood.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank billthoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne
Level Contributor
61 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
“Meriviglioso!”
Reviewed October 12, 2013 via mobile

I have the feeling Stefano would like to get his third hat back. My wife and I had the 8 course degustation, which included an amuse bouche and additional small treats for sweets. We chose to go for a bottle of Chardonnay after assessing the menu - 2010 Bindi Quartz Macedon Ranges - stunning wine! I won't go into the details of each course suffice to say that, whilst small portions, all were superb, original, innovative, technically excellent, and appropriate for a degustation menu. Also, as a coelliac, every course was adapted to be gluten free - sincerely appreciated and the best gluten free bread I have had.
A Highlight was the quintessential Aussie service - highly professional, unpretentious, vibrant, courteous and genuine! Shannon and VDM staff take note!
So what can be improved? Toilets downstairs (really a must) and, even though only happened once, don't ask guests to guess what they are being served, finally, please add Romate Cardinal Cisneros to the dessert wine list, to replace the extraordinary Romate Plus, which we thoroughly enjoyed. Again thanks for a memorable evening. Hope to be back soon.

Helpful?
Thank applesmate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne
Level Contributor
61 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
“Meriviglioso!!!”
Reviewed October 12, 2013 via mobile

I have the feeling Stefano would like to get his third hat back. My wife and I had the 8 course degustation, which included an amuse bouche and additional small treats for sweets. We chose to go for a bottle of Chardonnay after assessing the menu - 2010 Bindi Quartz Macedon Ranges - stunning wine! I won't go into the details of each course suffice to say that, whilst small portions, all were superb, original, innovative, technically excellent, and appropriate for a degustation menu. Also, as a coelliac, every course was adapted to be gluten free - sincerely appreciated and the best gluten free bread I have had.
A Highlight was the quintessential Aussie service - highly professional, unpretentious, vibrant, courteous and genuine! Shannon and VDM staff take note!
So what can be improved? Toilets downstairs (really a must) and, even though only happened once, don't ask guests to guess what they are being served, finally, please add Romate Cardinal Cisneros to the dessert wine list, to replace the extraordinary Romate Plus, which we thoroughly enjoyed. Again thanks for a memorable evening. Hope to be back soon.

Helpful?
Thank applesmate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
135 reviews
81 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Definitely worth the drive!”
Reviewed October 4, 2013 via mobile

Mildura is a long way from Adelaide and Melbourne, so you can't make the decision to dine at one of Australia's best restaurants without thinking about the logistics!

I have been fortunate enough to have eaten at Stafeno's a number of times before when in Mildura for work but this time it was a leisure visit with my wife which gave us the opportunity to be in the cellars rather than one of the larger rooms. It was also the first time I had eaten there since Stefano handed over the reins as head chef.

It was amazing. Fabulous food, great wine selection and attentive service. We selected the eight course degustation which comes with some extras and the wine selection matched to the food. Yabbies, Murray Cod and Pork were excellent but for me it was the Whipped Gorgonzola, Brioche and Honeycomb and finally the Chocolate, Pear and Caramel that were my favourites. The matched wines were excellent with the Passing Clouds Daylesford Chardonnay and Trentham Estate Taminga the highlights.

This is a wonderful restaurant with amazing food. It's expensive but definitely worth it!

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank browney237
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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