Where to Eat
Montalto (Australian contemporary) This timber-and-glass eatery sits within an idyllic vineyard and olive grove, a twenty-minute drive from the National and a half-hour drive from Moonah Links and St. Andrews Beach. Its French-inflected menu draws inspiration from produce grown on the estate and in the surrounding region, offering aged beef, bay fish, wild mushrooms and fresh cheeses. The restaurant serves lunch daily and dinner on Fridays and Saturdays. It has extended hours in December and January.
33 Shoreham Road, Red Hill South; 011-61/359-898-412, montalto.com.au. $$
Pebbles (Australian contemporary) Occupying a scenic perch on the Moonah Links property within the Peppers resort, this restaurant specializes in provincial fare, including organic duck breast with de Puy lentils, mushrooms and morello cherry relish. The starters—such as tiger prawn dumplings with sorrel velouté and curry oil—take more risks and are a great way to spark your taste buds.
Peter Thomson Drive, Fingal; 011-61/359-882-000. $$$
The Rocks (Seafood) For market-fresh seafood in a casually elegant setting—either indoors or out—it’s hard to beat this wharfside spot on Port Phillip Bay (twenty minutes from Peninsula Golf Club and forty-five from St. Andrews Beach and Moonah Links). Shellfish is the speciality, and you’ll understand why once you dig into a plate of raw oysters from the briny waters of Bruny Island and Coffin Bay or work your way through a redolent pot of mussels steamed with leeks, garlic and white wine. If you’re interested in coming for dinner instead of lunch, be sure to book ahead.
1 Schnapper Point Drive, Mornington; 011-61/ 359-735-599, therocksmornington.com.au. $$
Tuck’s Ridge (Australian contemporary) Before sitting down to a meal at this unpretentious vineyard café on the main road in Red Hill, visit its tasting room to sip the estate’s award-winning pinot noir and chardonnay. Then, if the dining room is full, grab a picnic blanket and eat on the lawn overlooking the neatly tended rows of vines. The seasonal menu borrows from Italy, with selections such as wild mushroom risotto and spinach and ricotta tortellini with sautéed king prawns.
37 Shoreham Road, Red Hill South; 011-61/359-898-660, tucksridge.com.au. $$$
Vines of Red Hill (Australian contemporary) Yet another delightful restaurant situated within a winery, Vines of Red Hill has an upscale dining room and a more casual terrace that overlooks a lake and rows of pinot noir vines. The kitchen turns out carefully crafted dishes, such as braised snapper fillet with aubergine, garden greens and roasted-pepper jus. Recent desserts included homemade sorbet and persimmon pudding with brandy custard.
150 Red Hill Road, Red Hill; 011-61/359-892-977, vinesofredhill.com.au. $$$$