Estelle by Scott Pickett (ESP)
245 High St, Northcote, VIC 3070
Ph: 03 9489 4609
Estelle by Scott Pickett (ESP) opened in July 2015 in High Street, Northcote. Pickett was reportedly involved closely with every facet of the design and the resulting venue is impressive to say the least.
Black and grey tones feature prominently amongst the furniture and fittings which include handcrafted wall cabinets loaded with glassware and solid timber circular dining tables.
The expansive open kitchen occupies a considerable amount of the room which results in seating within the seemingly large space being capped at around 50 diners. Some will argue that the bar stools overlooking the glistening kitchen are the best seats in the house, but I quite like slumping back in a chair at one of the tables.
Located directly next to the more casual Estelle Bistro, ESP offers a fine dining experience with a set seven course tasting menu priced at $130 per head. A wine match is available for an additional $120 and having taken this path on my two visits, I can strongly recommend you put yourself in sommelier James Dossen’s capable hands.
The front of house team led by Stuart Neil is hard to fault, striking the perfect balance between personable and professional.
Pickett and head chef Josh Pelham’s focus is undeniably on delivering dishes that you’ll delight in demolishing. There’s no shortage of technique behind many of the plates, but more importantly there’s a respect for the produce that warrants dishes aren’t needlessly complicated.
With a continually altering menu, it would be unwise becoming too emotionally attached to any one dish, however at the time of my visit favourites included the Yellowfin tuna with baby peas & foie gras and a heavenly Flinders Island lamb with broad beans & wild garlic.
Degustation dining can sometimes leave you bursting at the seams or at the other end of the spectrum searching for a burger on the way home as you leave still wanting and with an empty wallet. ESP has got the balance just right with a tasting menu that flows seamlessly from go to whoa and has you departing completely gratified.
If you’re in need of a restaurant for a special occasion or merely want an indulgent night out, ESP should be at the top of your list. There’s no other fine dining destination in Melbourne I could recommend more highly at this time.