In mid 2007 the Hotel was put on the market.
Valerio Nuce and Epicure Catering took over this local and converted into an Italian gastro-pub with Leonardo Gelsomino as chef. The menu is limited but the food is excellent and the price, for the quality, very fair. But, the room is a rather tacky mess and the waiting staff demonstrate have perfected 'the waiter's eye', i.e. one can never catch. Perhaps no bad thing given the intense irritation that contact with them engenders. So drink up (the wine list is fair) and console yourself with the first class food.
Other Published Opinions
The Age Good Bar Guide 2012 June 09, 2012 "Read full review ...
The Age Good Food Guide 2013 Score: 15/20
Gourmet Traveller 2013 Australian Restaurant Guide "One of the last Melbourne restaurants to observe the rites we once indelibly associated with restaurants - linen-set tables, professional service - is in fact a pub dining room. The Grand is old school in all facets, notably its Italian food, matched in seriousness and substance by the wine list"
Age Good Food Guide 2013 Score: 15/20 One Hat
Gourmet Traveller 2012 Australian Restaurant Guide "From the street, the Grand could be any inner-city pub. But step through a portal inside the main entrance and you're in a sanctuary of thick, dark red carpets, widely spaced tables and brown suede walls with subtle stag and dog murals"
Age Good Food Guide 2012 Score: 15/20, 1 Hat
Age Good Food Guide 2011 Score: 15/20, One Hat
Gourmet Traveller 2011 Australian Restaurant Guide "Fleetwood Mac booms across the beer garden as regulars hook into cheese-swaddled chicken parmas. All is as it should be in this inner-city pub. Until you walk through a discreet door into the dining room"
Age Good Food Guide 2010 Score: 14.5/20
Gourmet Traveller 2010 Australian Restaurant Guide "In a dining scene thick with shared plates and molecular gastronomy, the no-nonsense Italian cooking at this pub dining room can seem almost radical. The Grand feels like the kind of oldschool place where lunch could end at dinnertime (luckily, the room's thick carpet and linen tablecloths help keep the noise levels in check)"
Herald Sun Zoe Skewes, 17-10-09 "Top-notch pubgrub venue with a courtyard that should be high on your list for Friday-night drinks - once the rain clears."
Herald Sun 3-10-09 "This renowned gastro-pub has hearty Italian flavour"
Age Cheap Eats 2009
Herald Sun Stephen Downes, 10-03-09 "Would I go back? ? Without hesitation It's coming up to five years since The Grand's dining room opened. It delivered then - and does now the best-priced fine Italian eating in Melbourne. This is Latin tucker as good as it gets Try to find its equivalent in Rome Produce is superb, dishes are simple, the cooking is uniformly, precise and the culinary results are sublime. Expert service and a great ambience complete the package. "
Herald Sun Stephen Downes, 24-03-09 "The Grand's traditional Italian food is Melbourne's best. Need I say more? It's refined, it's elegant, it's tasty and it's composed from premium ingredients"
Age Good Food Guide 2009 Score: 15.5/20
Gourmet Traveller 2009 Australian Restaurant Guide Score: * "Valerio Nucci Lasagne - vincisgrassi - made with offal; whole calamari chargrilled, sliced and served with capers, parsley, lemon and olive oil; pork-stuffed roast rabbit leg served with risotto Milanese"
Herald Sun Extra Food, 19-08-08 Score: **** "This renowned gastro-pub has hearty Italian flavour and regulars return for homemade pasta, simple seafood or the kitchen's signature vincisgrassi, a traditional lasagne from central Italy"
Age Cheap Eats 2008
Age Good Food Guide 2008 Score: 15/20
Gourmet Traveller 2008 Australian Restaurant Guide "A restaurant with culinary bravado, The Grand is another example of what happens when you transplant an old pub's Aussie heart with an Italian model"
Age Cheap Eats 2007
Age Good Food Guide 2006 score 15/20
Gourmet Traveller 2006 Australian Restaurant Guide Best pub dining "It's Italy that suffuses the smart dining room at Richmond's The Grand where co-owner Valerio Nucci keeps a chefs eye on things. We love the vincisgrassi."
Age (melbourne) Magazine May 05 Gastro Pubs John Lethlean
Age Good Food Guide 2005 score 14/20
Herald Sun CityStyle Best of Melbourne 04 Best new-style pub "The Dining Room sticks to the old pub plan with well-priced, generously portioned food, but goes a step further by dishing up seriously good Italian tucker. The dimly lit bar is becoming a destination in itself."
Herald Sun, Weekend, 15/5/04, Bob Hart,'This place,at first glance, may look to be just another perfectly surburban pub...But you will discover that all is not as it seems when you call,last-minute,for a table and detect a polite chuckle at the other end.Sorry,fully booked...some very special things being prepared in this place.'
Age, Epicure, 13/4/04
Age, A2, 13/3/04, Melinda Houston
Age, Epicure, 10/2/04, John Lethlean, Score 15/20
Herald Sun, Sunday Magazine, 1/2/04, Lyall Corless, Score 8.5/10,' First-class food at moderate prices.'
Herald Sun, Citystyle, 20/1/04, Stephen Downes, Score 18/20,'perhaps the finest pub eating we've seen in Melbourne.The food is resolutely Itailan, simple and of the great domestic tradition...Limited but well-priced wine list'
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