There is a lot to love about the Mornington Peninsula. It has some great beaches, awesome wineries, fantastic golf courses, fabulously luxurious hotels and lots of beautiful back country to explore. An hour south of Melbourne, it’s the perfect spot to escape to when the hustle and bustle of big city life gets a bit too much. The Peninsula is renowned for its chardonnay and pinot noir, many fine examples of which can be found in the fabulous high-end restaurants that are located in the area. Restaurants that offer an exquisite range of Australian and internationally inspired dishes that champion local produce. Here are some of the best of them:
Ten Minutes by Tractor
Not only is Ten Minutes by Tractor one of the best wineries in the region – producing award-winning pinot noir and chardonnay – it also has one of the best restaurants in the Mornington Peninsula on its property too.
Overseen by Head Chef Hayden Ellis, who has worked in some of the leading restaurants in the world, including The Fat Duck and the Ledbury in the United Kingdom and Vue de monde, Dinner by Heston, and Bistro Guillaume in Melbourne, the restaurant offers an inventive menu that reflects a strong connection between food, nature and wine.
Dishes like kangaroo en croûte with tarragon emulsion and roast Eugowra quail with smoked beetroot, sickle pod and white asparagus, are just a couple of the fine dining offerings to expect. While the wine list, hand-picked by Head Sommelier Xavier Vigier includes Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling and Pinot Gris.
- Address: 1333 Mornington-Flinders Rd, Main Ridge VIC 3928
- Phone: (03) 5989 6455
Located in the Cape Schanck Resort on the Mornington Peninsula, the Cape Restaurant provides a wonderful dining experience.
Just a short 15-minute drive to the gorgeous Bushrangers Bay, Peninsula Hot Springs, and historic Cape Schanck Lighthouse, the restaurant presents an intimate dining space with a vibrant open kitchen, mood lighting and private booths to enjoy a cosy meal.
Head Chef Jordan Clavaron has curated a multicourse set menu of five dishes that fuse traditional French cuisine with fresh local produce.
Local wines are matched to each course, while an optional cheese and caviar course will elevate your dining experience further.
By way of a leaving present, handmade chocolates, created on site, are handed out to diners to enjoy on the way home.
- Address: Trent Jones Drive (via, Boneo Rd), Cape Schanck VIC 3939
- Phone: (03) 5950 8038
If you are in to paddock-to-plate style menus then Green Olive is the place for you.
A family friendly 27-acre farm in Red Hill, Green Olive is home to olive groves, vegetable patches and herb gardens, as well as Wiltshire sheep and Berkshire pigs.
This translates to a tapas share menu that offers dishes like minted lamb meatballs with house-made tomato relish, and pork rillettes with cornichons and red-onion marmalade.
In addition to what is served in the restaurant, they also sell a wide range of jams, relishes and chutneys made from garden crops.
Guests can also take a tour of the farm or do a workshop, such as sausage or pasta-making, as well as preserving and butchery.
- Address: 1180 Mornington-Flinders Rd, Main Ridge VIC 3928
- Phone: (03) 5989 2992
Located on a stunning 50-acre property in Red Hill, that incorporates seven vineyards and more than 30 acres of vines, Montalto is another winery that offers an exceptional dining experience.
Boasting a deck that overlooks fabulous sculptures and gorgeous vines, they offer refined modern Australian dining with a stunning kitchen garden.
The food is so good here that since opening in 2002 they have been awarded 16 Good Food Chef’s Hats.
Under the current guidance of head chef Matt Wilkinson, the menu includes such delights as Jerusalem artichokes with ginger, sea urchin and shiitake. While all of their wines are available by the glass.
A range of their wines can also be sampled at their Cellar Door too.
- Address: 33 Shoreham Rd, Red Hill South VIC 3937
- Phone: (03) 5989 8412
Doot Doot Doot
Situated in the Jackalope Hotel, which is located within the Willow Creek Vineyard, the charmingly named Doot Doot Doot, is probably one of the most illuminating dining experiences in the whole world.
Featuring a ceiling with no less than 10,000 bright lights, which were installed by artist Jan Flook to represent wine in mid-ferment, the dining room is lavish to say the least.
The food too is a 5 course set menu extravaganza, which includes the likes of XO Morton Bay Bug, Wattle Crusted Kangaroo and a delicious Hapuku. Whilst the wine cellar incorporates no less than 1200 top quality bottles.
- Address: 166 Balnarring Road Merricks North 3926
- Phone: (03) 5931 2500