HomeHotspotsHemingway’s Tavern, Melbourne

Hemingway’s Tavern, Melbourne

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Louis Yamonico

For dinner on this trip we went to the number one rated restaurant in Melbourne Hemingway’s Tavern. The restaurant gets its name from serving the favorite foods of Pulitzer Prize and Nobel Prize winning author Ernest Hemingway. Right away after we were seated, chef Luis Buxo came to greet us. We asked about his culinary career and he really had an amazing story. He started working for various franchise restaurants before he was invited to teach culinary school. However when they realized after he started teaching he never attended school himself they did not allow him to continue. He then went to school and got his culinary degree but now had bigger dreams. He started working at Hemingway’s and loved it so much he is now part owner of the restaurant. Chef Luis passion for cooking was plainly seen in the way he spoke about his work and also tasted in the wonderful food they serve here. So let us talk about the food.

We started off with a nice Bahamian conch chowder. We were off to a good start. The soup was loaded with fresh conch which mixed well in the tomato based chowder. The island spices were also very evident. It is similar to a Manhattan clam chowder but the conch meat is a lot more tender then a clam. The flavor of the conch also seems to be absorbed more by the sauce. It’s and excellent way to start a meal.

Now we were accompanied on this trip by my friend Jay so we got to try more food then usual. Jay ordered the Charred Octopus and Hash for his dinner. Although this is an appetizer you get a good sized portion of food here. The octopus is a sous vide octopus tentacle charred on fire grill served with a chorizo-yuca hash and chimichurri. I was impressed by how tender they tentacle was. Octopus is not an easy thing to work with and do right, but this one certainly was done to perfection. The chimichurri was a nice compliment to this dish and my friend really enjoyed it and satisficed his long waited craving for some octopus.

I ordered the Ernest’s Rib Platter which the waiter highly recommended. The Ribs are One pound of smoked in-house baby back ribs, basted with guava BBQ sauce. They usually come with fries and coleslaw but allow you to substitute, which I did. I added the beans and rice and also a side of seasoned vegetables. The flavor of the ribs was outstanding. The rub they used is very flavorful and added a nice little spice to the not overly sweeet BBQ sauce. While a little dry in some spots it was forgivable due to the actual flavor of the ribs and the understanding that it is a very difficult thing to cook a large rack of ribs evenly throughout. The amount of food on this item menu was plentiful and a great value for $20.50.

Quennie ordered the Snapper Hemingway which was also recommended by our waiter and this dish was the star of the night. The dish is a Pan-fried panko-crust snapper fillet topped with lump crab meat beurre blanc and served with rice caribe and grilled asparagus. The flavor of the sea was really evident here and wonderful. Everything about this dish screamed winner. The flavors were succulent and amazing. Now as you may have noticed we normally do not do dessert. Part of the reason is I am diabetic and the other reason is usually we don’t have room for it. However we did it here.

We could not resist the temptation of $6 desserts and we were very happy we tried them. That’s right every dessert you see pictured here was only $6! The artistic presentation and great flavors served here are outstanding. Chef Luis said they want their customers to enjoy these without paying too much which is why he keeps the prices low. Let’s hope that never changes. This time I believe it was me who got the best dish with the Sweet Plantain Bread Pudding which comes homemade with Cuban and coconut bread, served warm with caramel sauce, whipped cream and creme anglaise. We were really shocked at the serving size which came with 4 nice sizes squares. The flavor was delightful and I shared it with everyone. Quennie ordered the Pineapple Upside Down Cake served hot with caramel sauce, whipped cream, and a cherry. This was also a delicious dish and really pretty to look at. Jay ordered the Guava Cheesecake which is guava flavored cheesecake served with guava sauce, whipped cream and blueberries. I regret to inform you I do not like Cheesecake so I didn’t try it but Quennie and Jay said it was delicious.

Overall put Hemingway’s Tavern on your map. This place is clearly one of the top restaurants we’ve eaten at and it is plain to see why it is the number one restaurant in Melbourne. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

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This place offers

Good wifi
Close to hotels

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