Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Lunch at Montalto
Today is my boyfriend's birthday (Nick) and therefore I have flown down to Melbourne to celebrate with him. We drove down to the Mornington Peninsula for lunch. It was such a beautiful day and the drive through the Victorian countryside and along the Peninsula was really lovely. There's something very relaxing about driving along roads framed with Pine and Gum trees overlooking open fields and the ocean.
We had lunch at Montalto Vineyard and Olive Grove in Red Hill (the same place Nick took me on my birthday a few months ago). We sat overlooking the vineyards and gardens scattered with various sculptures. The menu is seasonal and had changed since January. The entrees all looked very appetizing and tempting - Asparagus with white sardines, zucchini flower risotto, salt and sugar cured salmon. We ended up choosing, to share, the goat's cheese souffle with a capsicum jam. Before the entrees came we were given warm rye and multigrain dinner rolls and extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) from their olive grove. I love restaurants that serve warm bread - it makes the bread somehow taste so much better! We were also given "compliments of the chef" a small tasting cup of fresh celery, mushroom and blue cheese soup. I'm not a fan of heated celery however the blue cheese balanced the flavours making it quite an unusual but enjoyable starter.
The entree took quite a long time to be served but was absolutely delicious!! The souffle was light and fluffy and was perfectly matched with the capsicum jam.
For main course I had aged beef tenderloin served with truffled potato stack and wild mushroom. I did ask for well done however the beef was just a bit overcooked so it ended up being a little tougher. However it was a magnificent dish!
Nick had duck breast with spring vegetables and parsnip mash. The duck was so tender and matched really well with the rest of the meal.
The presentation of the dishes was very artistic and impressive and the waiting staff gave really good service. It was such a lovely afternoon!