Time Out Melbourne

Dance like your life depended on it, and then cool your heels at oh-so-lovely Bar Lourinha

Clubbing for Ladies - Simply Stilettos
Sally Marr, queen dean of the Pink Pussycat College of Striptease, said burlesque was proof “a woman’s best weapon is a man’s imagination”. Simply Stiletto lives by this credo, offering a spicy ladies-only night of live burlesque, a “hunk-mania” dance show, tarot card readings and cocktails. Free bubbles and nibbles make for a great deal and it’s a ‘no-blokes-allowed’ policy (unless you’re on stage) until 10pm. Every second Friday of the month. Lvl 3, Rockstar Bowling, 211 La Trobe St, Melbourne 3000.

Bar Lourinha
If you need a date to go well, you need to go to Bar Lourinha. It’s fail-safe, even if you suffer from personality defects and rock a Canadian tuxedo (that’s double denim to youse). They’re too busy for bookings, but you can canoodle under the coat rack while you wait.

Order a ‘Stolen Town Bike’ cocktail (Frangelico, pomegranate, gin and rose water), and the kingfish ‘pancetta’ with lemon oil, thyme and onion, and you’ll have a rip-snorting good time – even if you’re by yourself. (Rumour has it that they go through litres of the oil a week, despite using just a drizzle per plate.)

The rest of the tapas and wine menu is the progeny of chef Matt McConnell’s promiscuous food affair with most of Europe. With so many influences the menu changes regularly, but if you can, get the sweet, roasted heirloom carrots and goat’s curd, or buttery, bliss-inducing wagyu. And of course there are the daily specials. When the kitchen team is this strong, it’s always worth taking the gamble, even on what could be a first-time crack at a dish, but compared to the tried-and-true menu they do occasionally miss the mark – paella sans crust is only OK if you don’t call it paella, even if it does sound better than shellfish fried rice.

If you are on a date, the consistently busy environment and switched on staff are stimulating enough to get you through almost any awkward conversational silences. Plus, the bar seating arrangement is so cosy that if things do go belly up, you can always pretend you’re on someone else’s date. You’ll need four to five dishes (starting at $16 each) for two people, so with drinks, it’s no cheap option, but what the hell - it proves you’re not stingy. 37 Little Collins St, Melbourne 3000.

Back to Time Out Melbourne – Healthy Living

For loads more tips on healthy eating go to weightwatchers.com.au/discover

Updated on 17 Oct 2011.

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