The Darlington Estate Winery: Modern yet charming
This winery/restaurant is one of the nicest setups I've seen. It has such a cosy atmosphere to it, yet has a modern elegance. No wonder it's such a popular spot. It is always busy.
As you arrive to the winery, you step down the stone steps past a private function room then down to the cellar/bar and restaurant. There are two areas to the restaurant - an inside dining area and an alfresco area. The alfresco area comprises of two parts - a "room", which overlooks a small formal garden, then separate little dining areas throughout the rest of the gardens.
The staff are absolutely fantastic. So friendly, courteous and attentive. They really enhance the dining experience. The restaurant is a multi Gold Plate Award winner.
This winery is a fabulous choice for an afternoon with friends or a dinner in the evening. On Friday nights they have live jazz.
Favorite Dish: The menu is not extensive, but it is quite well rounded. On my last visit there, we'd had tapas and champagne in the garden before moving inside for a wine tasting and dinner, so after the tapas, I wasn't too hungry. I had a light entree of the Asparagus side - fresh asparagus served with truffle oil and sea salt. ($9) Absolutely delicious. My main was the fish of the day, topped with grilled yabbie (marron), with wood ear mushroom and zucchini ribbons, finished with a sweet corn salsa. ($32) It was quite nice, though I didn't think the corn suited the dish.
Everyone at our table thoroughly enjoyed their meals which ranged from beef and duck (together) ($35) through to lamb shanks baked in pastry with minted peas, portabellos and finished with a roast cherry tomato glaze. ($28). The Smoked Salmon Tian entree was also a big hit. It was served with a sand crab, wasabi panacotta and avocado salsa. ($18). Another favourite was the Grilled Asparagus served with mushroom, mozzarella, pesto, vincotto and tomato braise. ($16).
The wines aren't the best around, but I guess that's reflected in their prices which range between $20-$30 per bottle. You really come here for the food and atmosphere.Related to:
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Food and Dining
- Wine Tasting