Saturday, January 4, 2020

Welcome to Dine, Wine and Meet

Though we have dined and wined away around many countries throughout the world we do find some of the best eating places in our own backyard. The Mornington Peninsula and Southern Victoria region holds the best restaurants, cafes, wineries and meeting places we have ever come across. We are critical where we eat and are only loyal to those places which satisfy us on a number of levels.
Some areas we are “fussy” about are: food quality, ambiance, service, choice in both food and beverage, differentiation and verve. We still look for other new and exciting eateries to add to our list. Some of these places will be in other regions, not just Southern Victoria.

It is our intent to Blog the better places we frequent and the new places we find so that you may also try something new (or stay away from) the restaurants we visit. If we say it is good it is because we eat there and frequent that place. If you follow us to the restaurants we recommend, you too should come away pleased, and content and want to go back for more. Let us guide your craving for fine food, good wine/beer and sensational meeting places.

NOTE: Click on the highlighted text like this-> The Mornington Peninsula to go to the Web site.
Revisit: This is a short follow-up report about a revisit to the resturuant under comment.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Trax Cafe -Bonbeach, Vic.

Not a bad place to drop in for lunch or dinner with a friend. Or maybe just drinks and nibbles. Food is OK cafe quality so if you are critical about food, move on. There are some good beers on tap and a host of food selections. The wine menu should satisfy most and then there are spirits.

Staff  at Trax are warm and friendly, parking is available but pick your time to visit. Décor is modern\hip\smart. A big front window will provide people watching over drinks or coffee. I went for lunch so no live bands and chatting was easy. I understand when bands are on it gets loud. Depending on what you want pick your time. A romantic lunch or dinner? - why not but pick the quiet times. A bonus is Trax are right opposite the Bonbeach station. Intend to drink? then take the train.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

L'Auberge French Cafe - Lilydale, Victoria

Sometimes you just have to stumble on a restaurant to find something really special. Drive down any main street of any city or country town and an array of cafes and restaurants will clearly come into view. Drive down some back streets, only a block or two back, to sometimes stumble on a culinary gem. Well I let the internet do the stumbling for me. I wanted to find a fine little café or restaurant in the Yarra Valley region. I wanted a drive, dine and eat. Fortunately, electronically, I stumbled onto L'Auberge.

Off the main drag of Lilydale lays a quaint little church built in 1888. Over the years this classic building has been a few different restaurants and has been used for other purposes. Thank God for now it is a great little French Café. Inertia still displays a lot of how this building was back when it was a working church. There is ground and mezzanine floors and you can dine on either. Through winter a massive fireplace. For us we finished our drinks on the couch in front of the fire.

Food is French of course with some good selections. French onion soup heads up the menu with vegan and vegetarian options. Not for me, French Algerian sausage on my plate, merci! Both my wife and myself thought the food delicious and meals I saw going out looked equally as inviting. The wine selection is limited but enough and the sparkly and Merlot I had were good. The meals are of good size and there is a selection of sweets and cakes for afters or just cake and coffee. Coffee was also good.

My biggest complaint with most restaurants is choice and volume of music. French café - French music, Spanish café - Spanish music. But how many, even fine dining establishments, play loud rock\pop from the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Please! Not here, classical music filled the air though it may have been just at touch too  loud.

Want to take the wife or lady friend out for a romantic lunch after a drive in the country. This is the place to do it. Its nice and quiet with good service, easy and free parking and pleasant, relax décor and surrounds. Small period rooms are open for hire for special occasions. I have already marked in my diary when to return and this time with friends. Bon appetit!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Sunny Boy Beach Club - Mordialloc, Victoria

This little place use to be called Sails. Well not any more. It is a far cry from the fine dinning of Sails. Does that make it bad? No but it certainly makes it different. "Different" is the key word. Sunny Boy Beach Club is more of a "club" than a fine restaurant. Once more does that make it bad. No.

As you are aware I rarely mention what I have ordered. I'm not a food critic but a restaurant reviewer. Of course it is a big part of eating out but there are many other factors which must be considered for a good time out. I have to mention their hamburger. The Wagyu burger. This bad boy was "BAD". Yep, bad a good way. I have not stopped raving about it since I ate it. I did get negative comments about some of the other meals. Think "pub food" and you won't be disappointed.

There are lots of boutique beers on tap, try a few, what I tried I liked. There is some unusual seating on packing crates and then again there are everyday tables and chairs. The places is very "Friday night\Saturday afternoon". Get my drift. Casual, noisy and relaxed, this may well suit you, for us it was just a little irritating. Thank God for the burger and beer. As typical up this way you will pay for parking and depending on when you visit you may struggle to get close parking. Do not get a parking fine, it may be the dearest meal you have ever had.

Sette Bello - Glen Waverly, Victoria

After picking up the new car for the wife and spending way too much time in the car yard, it was time for a serious meal. Passing Sette Bello was too much of a temptation to pass-up. We love Italian. It was a little quiet on the restaurant so service was on the ball. We ordered a drink and selected from the menu. The food was hot, on time and delicious. Just what we wanted after the excitement of replacing our 2002 Astra.

Wine selection is good, décor is modern if not a little industrial, service professional (that's a god thing) and a little cold. BUT we are here to eat and eat we did. Big serves, good value for money and on time plus easy parking. No reason not to go back.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Nevsky - Russian Restaurant, Elsternwick

Ok, you have been to your many Italian, French, Indian and Asian restaurants but put up your hand if you have been to a Russian restaurant here in Vic. This is how it is, if you have not been to Nevsky's then you have not rounded out your eating experience. Russian, Russian, Russian! Our foodie buddies and our in-laws stumbled on this place while waking the main street but wanted to "try" this place with us. In fact they were a little unsure what to expect. I'd seen it reviewed on TV only months earlier and was very keen to go. And go we did.

You must start with a Vodka, it is traditional darlings!  Nasdarovje! The menu here is extensive so while sipping your house vodka (also available at any liquor store) peruse in print the delights which await you. My chewing chums went for a parade of entrees and I headed for the most basic of basics - stroganoff. Luckily I got fed a taste here and a spoonful there of the entrees. All really yum!

The strog. was big and hearty - chronically delicious -  just what I expected from a Russian meal. Every slice of bread or taste or morsel of the entrées (from the chewing chums) was equally so. We weren't looking for fault or disappointment and there was none. No fault anywhere just delicious food. Freshly cook and served hot as!

This establishment is two story and either up or down had little intimate areas where couples could indulge and feel they had their own place and space. It is not overly noisy so a good place to take your friend and expect to eat well and dine in peace.

Even with Vodka and two bottles of wine and a number of courses the night was inexpensive. Parking can be an issue but that is soon forgotten with a friendly Russian waitress full of knowledge of the local eatery and a love of food. You will be very impressed and wonder why Russia has not invaded your stomach in the past. Good, fresh food in generous serving portions wholesome and inviting. I can't think of a single reason not to go and not to go back. JUST GO!!!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Le Bouchon French Cuisine - Balnarring, Victoria

After touring through the South West of France and dinning on some of the finest French food we could find, to discovery a truly remarkable French restaurant  right on our door step is just fabulous.  Normally you would think you would have to travel up to Melbourne to experience exceptionally good French food. For too long we have been denied fine French Cuisine on the peninsula but not any more.

We are blessed with some excellent Italian, Indian, Chinese, Argentinian and Greek restaurants on the Peninsula but not French. When the other food styles, particularly Italian, have dominated the culinary landscape it is  about time French made a big return. I'd like to see more Frenchies pop-up!

Le Bouchon is situated in Balnarring, itself a quiet little town just thirty to forty minutes drive from Frankston. The Balnaring shopping center has been established for a very long time but there is a whole new and very European looking addition been built. Le Bouchon itself has a good French vibe. Just what you want when you dine out and feel you are anywhere else but Southern Vic.

I'm not going to go on about my meal or my wife's meal or my in-laws meal I could never do it justice. I must say though on a scale of one to five, five being extreme fine dinning, this French eatery is a definite four and that is with some tough marking. Is this the finest dinning experience I have ever had, in other words a "5"? No. But it was half the price and nearly as good. Value for money - off the planet.

Staff are funny, warm and friendly and knowledgeable and senior staff are French. The owner will probably be your waiter. Parking is easy and dine inside or out. If outside the view is ordinary but inside, on a busy day, may be very noisy. Pick a Tuesday to Thursday night to dine inside and you should have a quiet and exceptional experience. Good French food done well and on the Peninsula. Bon appetite!