Montalto, one of Victoria’s favourite winery restaurants, has finally reopened…just in time for summer.

Last month, Montalto retained its award-winning status, collecting its 14th hat at The Age Good Food Guide awards. The new Montalto Restaurant offers guests the same high standard within a brand-new concept unlike anything on the Mornington Peninsula: a moment out of the ordinary.

The Restaurant

The new Montalto restaurant sees the kitchen completely stripped back with the redesign focusing on fire. Inspired by the traditional parrillas of Argentina, the kitchen has introduced an asado grill to smoke and cook dishes over a hot flame.

Gerard Phelan, Montalto Restaurant head chef, explains: “The grill is a modern take on something very traditional, that’s how I like to cook so there’s a connection there for me. This style of cooking requires great care and attention so we give the produce the treatment it truly deserves and it brings a refined rusticity to the dishes.”

The dining room is more open and relaxed, bringing focus to the views of the vines, olive groves and sculptures of the picturesque Montalto estate.

The linen tablecloths are gone. Montalto worked with Zac Pearton of ZP Woodworks, who specialises in recycled and sustainable timbers, tasking him with creating chestnut tables that not only complement the inviting dining room redesign but also stand as design features in their own right.

The Kitchen Garden

Montalto’s new kitchen garden has expanded to almost four acres with broad beans, globe artichokes, goat cheese, dill, swimmer grab and white asparagus mornay now connecting the restaurant’s dishes to the extraordinary produce that thrives in the area.

The Food

On the menu, meat, fish and fowl are all locally sourced from producers including Milla’s Farm Ducks (Mount Macedon) and Milking Yard Farm (Trentham), to showcase the very best of the region. 

The restaurant has launched a less prescriptive menu – allowing patrons greater choice and encouraging sharing and conversation. Standout dishes that you need to try are the half duck with preserved mandarin and veal rib-eye, kohlrabi and miso.

Next Year

The restaurant has already started planning its signature dishes for next summer with home-raised rainbow trout and redfin from the dams on the Montalto estate set to reflect their ongoing connection between menu and estate.

Neil Williams, curator of the estate’s famed sculpture garden, will also be bringing sculpture inside the restaurant. His search for the perfect piece has begun and guests can expect to see it feature in the dining room in 2018.
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