Current favourite for lunch is a toss up between The Currant Shed (http://www.currantshed.com.au/), the brilliant Fino (http://fino.net.au/), and a short walk across the vineyard to d’Arry’s Verandah at d’Arenberg Winery (http://www.darrysverandah.com.au/).
The Currant Shed has recently been taken over by Emily Dowie (ex Star of Greece front of house) & Hamish McGuire (of Shottesbrooke fame), and they have crafted a brilliant place to lunch, a great atmosphere, impeccable service and regional foods to die for.
Over at Fino, Sharon Romeo & David Swain continue to amaze with their brilliant regional food creations. They have been much awarded for their food as well as their interesting wine list.
Here’s a tip: when Sharon asks if she can feed you….hand the menus back and say “Yes”. Everything is that good. You can also have dinners at Fino if you are around in the evening.
The team at d’Arrys Verandah never fail to leave my taste buds tingled. Front of house Jo, along with chefs Peter Reschke and Nigel Rich, create some spectacular dishes and are also known for their use of local produce. d’Arenberg also has loads of different varieties of wine, so there is plenty to choose from. Try the Cenosilicaphobic Cat Sagrantino – made from Sagrantino grown at Oliver’s Taranga Vineyards.
In the evenings we enjoy McLaren Vale institution The Barn (http://www.thebarnbistro.com.au/). Owner Ben is a truly awesome host and has a massive collection of artisan beers.
The Victory Hotel at Sellicks has been a favourite for years. Now it is newly renovated and you can’t go past a Sunday evening up there watching the sun set over the ocean. Owner Doug Govan has by far the best wine selection in all of SA – ask him about his secret wine rooms (http://www.victoryhotel.com.au/). Even more exciting is that Doug has taken over The Star of Greece at Port Willunga recently so watch that space as well.
I am not a coffee drinker, (yes, I know…) but I have it on good authority that the best takeaway coffee in the region comes from Blessed Cheese in the Main Street of McLaren Vale (http://www.blessedcheese.com.au/) or 3 Monkeys in the Willunga High Street (http://www.3monkeys.net.au/).
If you happen to be around on a Saturday morning and you feel like cooking for yourself- a MUST is the Willunga Farmers Market (http://www.willungafarmersmarket.com/)- buy all of your fresh, local produce in the one spot: from eggs to mushrooms to rabbit to oysters, and everything betwixt.
Finally, for after work drinks, the Oliver’s Taranga team loves heading down to The Salopian Inn for beer, tapas and an awesome selection of wines by MW David LeMire (http://mvbeer.com/the-salopian-inn.html).