For a certain kind of person, the best part about birthdays, anniversaries and other celebrations is the excuse to splurge at a top-tier restaurant. Even if that's not you, nearly everyone can appreciate the experience of settling around a table to enjoy the company of friends and family for several hours while all your whims are catered for.

These spots do it better than anyone else. In short: you bring the occasion and leave it to the staff to supply the special.

Matteo's

Although the menu changes often at this neighbourhood restaurant, regulars keep coming back for the beautiful dining room, old-school Italian hospitality and extensive wine list.

533 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy North

Estelle

“A touch of innovation without being scary or confronting” is how owner-chef Scott Pickett describes the menu here, and he’s bang-on.

243 High Street, Northcote

Matilda

A bold, contemporary diner dedicated to cooking with fire and smoke, from the owner-chef of Estelle and Saint Crispin.

159 Domain Road, South Yarra

Lûmé

The esoteric fine diner has a more approachable format under executive chef John Rivera. It’s serving chic, accessible food that defies any one cultural influence.

226 Coventry Street, South Melbourne

Amaru

Take one of 34 seats and put yourself in the hands of Clinton McIver and his degustation-only menu.

1121 High Street, Armadale

Atlas Dining

Ambitious young owner-chef Charlie Carrington changes the cuisine every four months.

133 Commercial Road, South Yarra

Attica

One of the most remarkable dining experiences in the world. And it’s right here in Melbourne.

74 Glen Eira Road, Ripponlea

Cutler & Co.

The flagship of Andrew McConnell's restaurant empire.

55-57 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy

Ides

Enjoy multiple creative courses from a former Attica sous chef.

92 Smith Street, Collingwood

Minamishima

Sushi at a supremely exquisite level.

4 Lord Street, Richmond

Dinner by Heston

As bold as anything you would expect from the experimental chef, minus some of the theatrics of Fat Duck.

Level 3 8 Whiteman Street, Southbank

Ezard

Deft French-Asian fusion from established chef Teage Ezard.

187 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

Kisumé

The most ambitious Japanese restaurant in Melbourne.

175 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

Cafe Di Stasio

The word institution gets thrown around a lot, but Ronnie di Stasio's elegant Italian diner has well and truly earned the accolade.

31 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda

Florentino

The big gun classic in Italian dining in Melbourne.

80 Bourke Street, Melbourne

Vue de Monde

Shannon Bennet's theatrical diner, with 360-degree city views.

Level 55, Rialto Building 525 Collins Street, Melbourne

Spice Temple

A modern take on Chinese, from Neil Perry, with a dramatic interior, endless wine list and quality food.

Crown Melbourne 8 Whiteman Street, Southbank

Rockpool Bar & Grill

A large experience in the best possible way.

8 Whiteman Street, Crown Complex, Southbank
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