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Bookings are now open for the much-anticipated French-inspired venue in Melbourne which is set to open on 1 August.

Reine & La Rue was announced earlier this year in May, and has been coming together at Melbourne’s 189s neo-gothic Melbourne Stock Exchange building.

The 150-seat venue will host a main dining space, bar, and the eight-seat speakeasy La Rue which will also serve the main dining menu.

The food offering has been curated by Executive chef Jacqui Challinor and Head Chef Brendan Katich and is inspired by classic French dishes.

“Whether it’s walking in for snacks and Champagne at the bar; a cosy booth for a three-course meal; or a table full of plates to share; we would like our guests to create an experience that suits the way they want to eat,” says Challinor.

Some of the dishes set to star include Eastern Rock lobster cocktail with endive and rouille, queen scallop with truffle butter, a mushroom pithivier with soubise and chestnut, and a hand-picked mud crab brandade.

Reine & La Rue has also been fitted out with a wood-fired hearth which will see the menu host a large ‘from the grill’ section.

That section is set to include a half Great Ocean duck with sugarloaf cabbage and jus gras, and a selection of Victorian beef from Blackmore and O’Connor with a range of French-style accompaniments.

Reine & La Rue’s Pastry Chef Vencenza Soto has also curated a dessert menu featuring a chocolate, espresso, and caramel tart; tarte tatin; and Jersey milk soft serve from the in-house soft serve machine.

The wine offering will continue the Nomad Group’s focus on locality, with a large focus on Victorian producers alongside French and American wines.

The cocktail list is inspired by New York classics and is set to star the team’s takes on the martini, Manhattan, and sazeracs.

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Nomad Group’s Al and Rebecca Yazbek have been working with Heritage Victoria, RBA Heritage Architects and Akin Atelier to transform the space for the opening.

“We didn’t want to overcomplicate or try and recreate the history
with the space, we wanted a modern restaurant that our guests will feel comfortable and relaxed within,” says Yazbek.

“Everything about the design of Reine & La Rue has to be about balance.”

The space features a decorative gothic interiors with encaustic floor tiling and prismatic glass floor tiles, marble dado, solid limestone walls, vaulted ceilings, and solid grey granite columns.

Reine & La Rue will be open Tuesday to Saturday for lunch and dinner and is located at 380 Collins Street, Melbourne.