Cafe Florentine is a fine dining (aka "Gold Card") restaurant in the 2016-17 Entertainment Book, which means that you can get a complementary main course, of up to $40 in value, when another main course of equal or greater value is purchased. This year, the Eat and Be Merry Crew is fundraising for FareShare by encouraging our dear readers to buy a copy or two of the 2016-17 Entertainment Book - our goal is to raise $1,000 for FareShare (more details can be found in our post here)! There's a book for each state and territory in Australia that's chock full of dining, entertainment and lifestyle offers.
While the main dishes seemed impressive on paper, unfortunately they lacked the 'wow' factor in terms of what was served. Don't get me wrong - we all thought the food was alright but for the price (most mains were in the $30+ price range) it just wasn't hitting the mark.
I got the pork belly dish ($34.50), which came with an apple and fennel salad, apple aioli and cider jus. While it was a decent slab of tender pork, the crackling (such as it was) wasn't crisp or crunchy. Disappointingly, it was chewy.
Mother Hen ordered one of the specials - 250g of black Angus beef eye fillet ($42). While she enjoyed the stuffed tomato, the eye fillet was a let down. The thing about eye fillet is that it's meant to be the best cut of beef. It's meant to be completely tender and free of sinew. This piece had several sinewy bits through it. As someone who buys eye fillet on a regular basis, I know this wasn't a true piece of eye fillet.
Mr Strong quite liked his beef short ribs ($32). Three hefty and tender chunks of beef with a lovely sticky glaze, which was served with an apple slaw.
Bubba Chuck got a kid's meal, which was pretty good value. The calamari and chips ($16.50) also came with a serve of ice cream for dessert (see below).
We liked it.
OverallWhile the service was stellar (polite and attentive) the execution of the food was bit off mark for a restaurant that changes $30+ per main dish. With plenty of other dining options (casual and fine dining) on Church Street (and also nearby Bay Street), Cafe Florentine will definitely have to lift its game if I were to come back again.
Find it atCafe Florentine
24 Church Street
Brighton VIC 3186
Phone: (03) 9593 1214