Side dish & Vegetables (contorni e verdure): we ordered the Italian roast potatoes with garden rosemary & garlic (AUD 9). Best side dish ever! The rosemary-infused potatoes and whole garlic cloves were roasted to perfection. Not charred or undercooked – just about right. It might sound odd but I vote this side dish as my favourite among all the other dishes served throughout lunch.
First Course (Primi): Fresh linguine with pancetta, guanciale, calabrese salami, tomato & spring onion (AUD 18 for 1/2 size). This, to be honest, was a tad bit disappointing. The linguine was done al-dente, the flavours from the olive oil, pancetta and other ingredients were great. However, I think it was too salty – no thanks to the pancetta (Italian bacon). I hope the chef did not throw in even more salt though! Was totally an overkill and not particularly enjoyable. Probably would have to ask the chef to go easy on the pancetta or salt if you do order it.
Second Course (Secondi): Seared milawa free range duck breast & confit leg with braised farro & white onion purée (AUD 36). Outstanding dish. The duck breast was cooked evenly through and the confit leg was crispy on the outside and really flavourful as a whole. Although a little pricey at AUD 36, it was well worth the $$$. (ok, I admit, I can’t say that with full conviction since I didn’t pay for it :p)
side notes: Confit by the way, in its most traditional concept, is a salt-curing process in which the meat is seasoned with salt, garlic and sometimes herbs. It is then cooked in its own fat (theoretically) before serving. Farro (just in case you are wondering), is a kind of grain from a certain wheat species. Widely-used in Italy.
The service staff were attentive and helpful with wine-pairing suggestions. The interior decor of the restaurant was simple and I loved how it was filled with the lovely afternoon sunshine pouring in from the huge windows. The walls are lined with photos of the De Bortoli family from when they first arrive in the 1920s – a great pictorial history. Strolling around peeking at their photos was a nice pre-meal activity. And of course, after-meal activities are aplenty in a VINEYARD. Head downstairs for more wine and cheese tasting frenzy or head out into the open air and marvel at the manicured valleys that extend way into the horizon around you.