22 June 2017

Eat Me. Montalto Vineyard, Red Hill

I found myself playing tour guide for my friends last weekend and where did we end up, but in one of my favourite little corners of Melbourne… The Mornington Peninsula. Despite the cool winter weather, we were blessed with blue skies most of the weekend and after a quick stop at The Pillars to show off our Mediterranean-style coastline to the girls, we made a beeline for the green rolling hills of Red Hill, stopping in at Montalto Vineyard.

I’ve heard many-a-whisper about this place so figured it was time to check it out. The gardens are glorious, and I don’t just mean their grapevines. There’s a huge expanse of lawn dotted with intriguing sculptures. You can even wander all the way down to the lake…

Back up near the cellar door and restaurant you’ll also find an expansive herb garden, boasting some of the freshest produce I’ve ever laid eyes on. Just imagine the fresh salad or veggie assortment you could pick from here.

After exploring the grounds, we settled into the restaurant at our table by the window, keen to order dishes plucked fresh from the garden. Can I also just say, the wine here is a delight. I tried the Estate Pinot Gris – which is a bit like their reserve label, and it was probably one of the nicest white wines I’ve ever tasted. Light but also a little buttery – like all the best things in life are…

Onto the food… And full disclosure I take no responsibility if you start drooling. Yes it really is that good!... Recently renovated the Piazza CafĂ© boasts a light fresh menu, perfect for lunchtime. We started with the marinated eggplant served with fried chickpeas, labne and sumac. Delightfully light yet full of flavor.

Next halloumi served with hazelnuts and roasted lemon. A cheesy triumph. That's it hiding under the rocket!

Onto cinnamon-roasted pumpkin with coriander which was all kinds of delicious.

Before rounding it all out with a bowl of incredible fried cocktail potatoes and aioli. Can someone please tell me how I can achieve such golden little bites of heaven at home!? My oven just can’t seem to create this.

If you’re in the area, be sure to stop by. And don’t you dare leave without ordering the potatoes.

And if you fancy exploring the Mornington Peninsula region yourself, try a local tour like Wine Compass to find out more.

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Montalto Restaurant and Winery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Photos by Krissie.