The Cullen is one of Will Deague’s renowned Art Series Hotels and it now has the calibre of restaurant to match. Gramercy Bistro, which opened last week, is owned by restaurateur Adam Faigen and has real NYC spirit.
The sleek interior is all black and red finishes framed by strong grey concrete and wooden benches, giving a feeling of space. Large glass panels bring both natural light and the bustling Commercial Road vibe within. A spacious, adjacent outer section – complete with heating – allows for excellent people watching.
There’s a dynamic collection of artworks from nearby Metro Gallery inside and a kind of Jewish deli vibe, with glass case displays of salamis, cheeses, pickles and more. For breakfast there’s challah French toast and buttermilk pancakes, and for lunch, New York deli sandwiches like the Hero or Reuben, and main courses in the guise of a wagyu cheeseburger, six different cuts of steak and Tasmanian salmon among others. The standout dessert is a rich New York baked cheesecake.
The wait staff are kitted out in dapper uniforms and aprons and there’s a lack of pretension despite the plush surroundings. The cocktail bar just inside the front entrance is composed of glossy white tile, fully stacked bottle shelves, hanging glasses and large jars of pretzels. Hotel guests, curious locals and sharp suited gentleman can be seen sitting on the bar stools sipping drinks, making for a mixed, but interesting crowd. A little like Gramercy itself.
162–164 Commercial Road, Prahran
(03) 9098 1155