Lunch is often the most neglected meal of the day, a rushed, half-thought-out affair during the workday or between errands, but Ebony & Ivory turns that notion on its head with its classy ambiance and modest yet meticulous menu. Dine outside on the patio or find a spot inside at the swanky lounge or the intimate dining room to enjoy house-made potato gnocchi with meatballs baked in tomato sauce, tortellini of goat cheese mascarpone and parmesan with grilled prawns, pine nuts, sage, sultanas and brown butter sauce, or any one of the heavenly cakes. If lunch doesn’t work for you, don’t fret, because breakfast and dinner are equally wonderful.
Ebony & Ivory, 189 Moorabool Street, Geelong, Australia, +61 3 221 6072
Decades of consistently outstanding cuisine and professional service has made the award-winning Empire Grill the ultimate special occasion destination in Geelong, and the go-to place to spoil and impress your dining companions. The décor, highlighted by exposed wooden beams and gold and terracotta accents, is just as luxurious as its entrées. European and Asian influences are evident on the menu, as is the team of chefs’ appreciation for local ingredients, especially in dishes like the prawn and mango salad with nuoc cham dressing and tom yum crisp and the rack of lamb with broad bean purée, cous cous salad and lemon apple relish. If you’re up for a true gastronomical delight, you can also choose to indulge in the elaborate degustation menu.
Empire Grill, 66 McKillop Street, Geelong, Australia, +61 3 5223 2132
Roosted atop a century-old barge secured to the edge of Corio Bay, The Geelong Boat House is an emblem for the city’s connection to its seaside landscape. Climb up to the top deck on a pleasant day to enjoy panoramic views of the city and the bay, or if you’re out on a boat, pre-order a dish or two for lunch and have your meal lowered onto your watercraft by the kitchen staff. Of course, if you’re going to be so close to the water, you’d be wise to order dishes that highlight fresh fish, the boat house burger, made with hand-ground rib-eye, or the Thai fish burger with Asian coleslaw are sure to please, and the fish and chips are perhaps the best in all of Victoria.