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FOOD & DRINK

A Look Inside Mornington Peninsula's Revamped Winery Restaurant, Montalto

The more relaxed design highlights cooking over fire, sharing plates, enjoying long conversations and soaking up rural views.
By Jasmine Crittenden
December 09, 2017
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A Look Inside Mornington Peninsula's Revamped Winery Restaurant, Montalto

The more relaxed design highlights cooking over fire, sharing plates, enjoying long conversations and soaking up rural views.
By Jasmine Crittenden
December 09, 2017
  shares

If you've been mourning the absence of Red Hill's Montalto, then dry your eyes. The fourteen times-hatted Mornington Peninsula institution has reopened as a revamped, more relaxed version of itself, with an emphasis on cooking over fire, sharing plates, enjoying long conversations and soaking up rural views.

On arriving, the first thing you'll notice is that the kitchen has gone through a stripped-back redesign. The new centrepiece is an asado grill, based on Argentinian parrillas.

"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," said head chef Gerard Phelan. "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."

Providing much of this produce is Montalto's kitchen garden, now expanded to a mighty four acres. To sample its goodness, order swimmer crab and white asparagus mornay or broad bean, globe artichoke, goats cheese and dill.

Meanwhile, all meat on the menu is sourced from nearby producers. These include Mount Macedon's Milla's Farm Ducks, which contributes to the half duck with preserved mandarin dish, and Trentham's Milking Yard Farm, whose wares are found in the veal rib-eye, kohlrabi and miso.

The linen tablecloths have disappeared and in their place are handcrafted tables, made of recycled and sustainable chestnut by Zac Pearton of ZP Woodworks. Overall, the space has a more relaxed, open feel, making the most of Montalto Estate panoramas, dotted with vines, olive groves and sculptures.

Find Montalto at 33 Red Hill-Shoreham Road, Red Hill. Visit their website for further information.

Published on December 09, 2017 by Jasmine Crittenden

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