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.

Monday, July 4, 2016

The Boathouse - Moonee Ponds, Victoria

Want a really nice place to dine on the northern side of Melbourne city. Why not go for a big open restaurant on the Maribyrnong River. You could sit outside on a sunny day and watch the walkers and cyclist on the walking track beside the rive and lookout over the water. You may also feel confident eating at a restaurant part owned by Gary Mehigan of master chef fame. But there is more at The Boathouse than all of that put together. There is good food.

The Boathouse is a modern, rustic-feel, relaxing eatery. You can dine indoors or out by the river. Parking is available nearby and there is a kids play ground right at the entrance. The wine and beer list is sufficient and staff are efficient and friendly and quite laid-back. A cosy lunch for two would find a home here. Don't wait for summer just rug-up and eat with the water birds.

Monday, June 6, 2016

IL Forno - Hampton, Victoria

IL Forno means "the oven". Great name for a restaurant. Hampton is well known for nice dining houses and with in-laws living in the area we find ourselves up this way more often. Nice modern feel though I felt the many family photos on one wall a little too much. The shop front is narrow, lookout for the entry. Street parking is possible but I would imagine on busy nights few spots will be found. I managed to park right out front, just lucky I guess.

You will not be crammed in here, there is good space between tables. Our waiter and possibly owner or part owner was knowledgeable and friendly and guided us through the many specials and dishes available. Most of us had different meals. The wine list is sufficient and the ordering of a beer was meant with a prompt coldie.  The food though was a bit of a let down. This was also felt by some others at our table. I rarely detail the food but when I ordered the Italian sardines I has met with a disappointing deep fried sardine mush filled croquet. I was expecting fish on my plate. And the pasta with pork belly ragout was pasta with a few knobs of pork mince. I had to even hut for the mince.

Without downing this pleasant looking establishment too much I would suggest you look elsewhere. The meals just did match an otherwise good looking restaurant which had all the promise. To say it was OK and not great is being kind. On the up side if you were wooing a partner a romantic meal would be on the cards here, just as long as you are not food critics.


Thursday, May 12, 2016

La Foglia - Milano, Italy

We were staying just around the corner from La Foglia at the excellent Mozart Hotel and managed to dine here on two occasions. Both times it was for dinner and both times it was very enjoyable. This boutique restaurant is, from what I could see, a young husband and wife concern. The lady up front and hubby rattling the pots and pans. Our hostess sounded French to me but English was no problem. Service is warm and friendly but still efficient. No long waits.

The meals are definitely Italian and serves are generous. There is a huge selection of wine from many styles, over a wide price range and all on display. Jump up and grab your own. We found two great drinks at reasonable prices. Don't be to surprised to see a dog under the table. This appears to be the done thing in Europe. If you are staying nearby you must eat here. Food is excellent and good value and don't be surprised if you find yourself back here the next day or night.


Friday, December 18, 2015

Noir - Richmond, Victoria


“Black is black, I want my baby back”. Los Bravos had a hit in 1967 called “Black is Black”. If you want your Veal Parmigiana then don’t visit Noir in Richmond Victoria. Nestled right in the heart of Richmond and on Swan Street. “decored” in a very sombre black Noir is not you big eater’s paradise. No Parmas here baby

Give me five! And that’s what you get. Five courses of tastes, textures and flavours (sorry Teks I just had to say it). Titbits, nibbles and savouries. Thank God for wine. The dinning is fine. Very fine and not to disappoint. Service is fine and very fine and not to disappoint. Food quality is fine and very fine and not to disappoint.

You do not have to go the five courses and I may suggest you don’t. For us quantity was low but other courses may fill. Wine is fine. Very fine and WILL NOT disappoint. If Black is Black then here is where your baby is if not the local may be grey since she went away.

OK but not convinced, Mark.

Monday, December 14, 2015

The Parlor, Milkbar and Kitchen - Beaumaris, Victoria

How many times have you wished there was a restaurant just around the corner where you could simply walk there and have a meal or a few drinks. That’s it, leave the car at home, enjoy the stroll, meal and good company and then wander home after. No booze-bus fears if you kick on, no parking issues or having to pay for packing if you can get it at all. What if the added bonus is this ideal little establishment serves fine food, inside or outside, with drinks prices held at a reasonable level and staff who are friendly and knowledgeable.


Wait there is more. Italian food is on my list of favorite cuisines and this fantasy, neighborhood, wine bar, milk bar, café, restaurant, eat house happens to specialise in YOUR fav. food. Too good to be true? Your good friends, who you love to dine with, share a meal with, have a drink with, and holiday with, just happy to live nearby.  You could meetup, stroll to this idyllic “feel good” place, enjoy time together, feel content and satisfied with great quality food of generous proportions and not have to sell your first born to pay your way. Fortunately my sister-in-law and her husband live near such a place in Beaumaris – The Parlor.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Volpino - Mount Martha, Mornington Peninsula

Feel like a drive to the pleasant little shopping village on Mount Martha beach. You will be greeted with easy car parking and host of shops of all varieties including a number of cafés and restaurants. Looking for better food with a strong Italian influence then you must try Volpino. A Pizza and Wine type of eatery but don’t let this stop you ordering one of the many other mains. For me it was the Rockling followed by the Chilli Chocolate cake.


There is a decent menu and entrée, mains and dessert are well covered. Take a look also at the specials. My food was excellent and the drop of Tassy white I had just finished it off nicely. Wait staff and bar staff, including owners, are all friendly and happy to have a short chat. Being across the road from the beach I can imagine during holidays and in the warmer months, this place will be packed. You can book online and if it is warm and not too winding book for outside. Good food and a pleasant location  - definitely worth the drive.