|A Day on the Green, Rochford Wines|
Isabella's at Rochford
878-880 Maroondah Hwy
Coldstream, VIC 3770
Ph: (03) 5962-2119
We've actually visited Isabella's twice now, once for A Day on the Green, and once for lunch shortly after they launched in October last year with Chef Ciaran Butler at the helm. (Disclosure: this was also an invitation for a complimentary meal). Let's start with the lunch!
Isabella's restaurant is a large, light-filled space adjacent to the cellar door. On the Saturday afternoon that we visited, it was full of families and groups of daytrippers and tourists. Due to the volume of customers, I was a little worried that the service would be slow, but I'm happy to say my fears were unfounded - we were really impressed by how efficient the service was and how quickly our food was brought out.
As you might expect from a destination winery restaurant, meals tend toward the pricey side (approx $34 for mains), but the portions are generous. Gluten free, dairy free and vegetarian options are clearly marked, but there didn't seem to be many options for vegetarians (one entree, no mains, a few sharing dishes like a vegetarian antipasto platter) - so perhaps it's worth calling ahead if you are visiting with vegetarians.
|Freshly baked soy and linseed ciabatta with housemade smoked olive oil butter - $4.00|
|Rabbit and pistachio terrine - deconstructed piccalilli - $14|
|Ocean Trout - pan roasted fillet of Tasmanian ocean trout, asparagus, peas, broad beans, jamon serrano ham & baby potatoes - $34.00|
|Steak Frites - 350g grain fed yearling scotch fillet, with French fries, hollandaise sauce - $34.00|
Sandra's steak was cooked just as requested (i.e. very well done), and the crisp battered onion rings were a nice touch - it would have been even better if the hollandaise sauce had been served warm rather than cold.
|French apple custard rose - served with caramelized crumbs, Iranian fairy floss & tonka bean ice-cream - $14.00|
I thought the presentation of this tart was just so pretty! Beneath the pretty apple slices was a creamy custard housed in a crisp shortcrust case. My favourite part, of course, were the crunchy caramelized crumbs - I love the contrasting crunch!
|Callebaut Chocolate Truffle with Sea Salt - served with salted caramel, chocolate dust, freeze dried raspberry - $14.00|
|English Breakfast Tea with a Charlie's Cookie passionfruit melting moment|
And on Australia Day, we were back for the "A Day on the Green" concert to see Elvis Costello!
Rochford Wines host three Days on the Green each summer, with different musical acts. (The next one is Neil Finn and Paul Kelly on 23rd February!) There are a few different options you can go for - there's general admission (bring your own picnic blanket and seats), various seating options, premium general admission (tapas included), and the one we enjoyed: the concert and dining package. This includes a three-course meal at Isabella's; wine, beer and soft drink; indoor bathroom facilities (yay!); and a private outdoor patio from which you get a great view of the stage.
|Seating area for the Concert and Dining patrons, Tex Perkins|
Here's the lineup! The meal was served in stages between 3 and 6pm, and served in alternating courses (like at a wedding). We popped out in between courses to watch the bands.
|Crumbed Camembert Cheese - Crumbed and fried camembert served with balsamic|
Deep fried cheese. Need I say more? Deelicious! Check out those gooey molten innards...
|Gooey molten cheese|
The first course was a choice of chicken pâté or oysters.
|Chicken pâté - Liver pâté, pickles and toasted ciabatta bread|
|Half Dozen Coffin Bay Oysters - With shallot & sherry vinaigrette|
For Sandra, who doesn't eat seafood and isn't a big fan of pate, the restaurant kindly put together a fresh little salad for her.
|Salad of semi sundried tomatoes, Yarra Valley Persian feta, black olive, caramelised red onions and leaves|
|Confit Ocean Trout Salad - slow-cooked ocean trout with semi-sundried tomatoes, Yarra Valley Persian feta, black olives, caramelised red onions, asparagus and leaves|
|Scotch Fillet 300g - 300g Cape Grim Scotch fillet, sous vide to medium with roasted rosemary potato & seasonal vegetables, Rochford Pinot jus|
|Blood Orange Panna Cotta - served with blood orange sorbet and orange tuille|
|Callebaut chocolate truffle with sea salt - served with salted caramel, chocolate dust, freeze-dried raspberrry|
Phew! And that was the food. I did mention above that there was an outdoor patio area for the "concert and dining" patrons - but in addition to that, there's also a reserved seating area close to the stage... and later that evening we managed to get really close to the man himself!
Sarah and Sandra ate at Isabella's Restaurant and attended A Day on the Green as guests of Rochford Winery and Tyrrell PR.