The annual trip this year to a regional restaurant was to the Hunter Valley. We departed early from Artarmon and travelled to Tulloch Wines for a cross section of mainly their current range of white wines and a couple of reds. Back onto the bus and a short drive to Mount View to the French Bistro Molines situated on a hill with outstanding views of vine planted rolling hills.
We were greeted in the courtyard to three delicious canapes and a white blend of local wine generously supplied by Robert Molines, our host.
We sat down in the charming, quirky country styled restaurant to a three course meal.
New season Leek and Gruyere Tarte with Baby Leeks
Crumbed Zucchini flowers filled with goats cheese
The entree was rated highly, with no adverse comments, and enjoyed by all.
The selected wine was a 2016 Tinkler Poppy Chardonnay that matched well with the cheese and rich zucchini.
Bouillabaisse with fish of the day, king prawns, mussels and shellfish bisque
Twice roasted Hunter Duckling on braised cabbage, sauteed speck and peas, orange glaze
Fillet Mignon, confit garlic croquette, sauteed spinach, red wine jus, bernaise sauce
It was unusual to see spring vegetables in the bouillabaisse – squash and green beans – although they were very tasty.
The duckling was the favoured main meal. Mostly served tender, but with one comment that the duck was somewhat dry and ordinary.
Fillet Mignon was not chosen by many who attended the lunch.
The wines offered were a 2015 Frogmore Pinot Noir which suited the duck very well and a 2014 Keith Tulloch Kester Shiraz, being a more full bodied wine, matched the fillet mignon and the chocolate fondant dessert.
Dark Chocolate Fondant with Stracciatella Ice Cream
Fig Brulee with marinated berries and langue de chat
Selection of 3 cheeses with fruits, nuts and crackers
The fig brulee was chosen by most and rated highly.
The chocolate fondant was very rich and the ice cream with the flecks of chocolate matched well.
The cheese plate was a generous serve.
Following the meal tea/coffee and petit fours were served.
The service was seamless, friendly and attentive. We were well looked after.
All agreed a restaurant in a beautiful setting with food of outstanding quality.