Well, if you read this regularly you’ll notice that we have eaten at Antigo’s twice within a few weeks – however, we ate completely different things! And it was purely a coincidence, we had planned to come here this time, however last time, we were simply looking for somewhere that we could get a table without having to have booked in advance! Again the food was really good, this time we started with a variety of breads (and hooray, the waitress told us how many slices come in each serve and we were able to figure out how many serves we needed for six of us!), and for our mains, Martin and I both ordered the pumpkin risotto with caramelised onion and a creamy white wine sauce. Yum – the risotto was great, cooked perfectly and the creamy sauce was a really nice change to ‘ordinary’ risotto. For dessert we shared the sticky date pudding, which came with a huge chunk of toffee (my favourite) and was absolutely swimming in the caramel sauce. I think that the pudding itself was a little dry, so the sauce didn’t actually last very long! The food here is good and reasonably priced. However, in two visits we have managed to exhaust the vegetarian selection as well as the dishes that can have the meat easily removed…
We have been here once before in the past, and although they don’t have a huge range of veggie dishes, they are happy to modify dishes containing meat and the food is really good. We started with the dip platter and Turkish bread. There were four different types of dip including the fish roe one, so if you are going here and don’t eat that sort of thing, then ask them to leave it off – we let our friends eat that one! There was also hummus and carrot dip and another one that was buttery and creamy and had corn in it – really nice! For mains, Martin had the stuffed field mushrooms and I requested the potato rosti without the smoked salmon – both were delicious! I am a sucker for potatoes and this dish was great! We all also decided to have desert – two chocolate rum and raisin cheesecakes, a chocolate mud cake and a white chocolate praline something… all were delicious, incredibly rich and insanely huge! But we managed to get through most of it! We also managed to get through some margarita’s and a bottle of wine… I recommend the strawberry margarita but drink it before anything else, otherwise it is a little on the sickly sweet side!
When this place was recommended by someone at a cellar door, she claimed it was all vegetarian and organic. Well, it is organic, but it certainly isn’t vegetarian! We rang to check before we went and they do have quite a few vegetarian choices on the menu, so we decided to check it out. The place itself is an old house converted into a restaurant so there is a choice of two dining rooms. The dinner menu was very meat based, so we ignored it and checked out the specials and the pizza. I also checked out the “all day breakfast” but then realised that all day actually only means until 3pm! I decided to go with the tomato and basil soup to start followed by a garden fresh pizza without artichokes. Martin went for the artichoke bruschetta and the special pasta (also full of artichokes!). The soup was fantastic – full of fresh herbs and cracked pepper – I have vowed to try and make soup like this in winter. The pizza was also good – it had roasted pumpkin, boccancini, olives and fresh spinach on top and it had a nice crisp base that wasn’t too thick and the topping went all the way to the edge! Martin enjoyed his dinner of artichokes, although I have to say that you could barely taste them in the pasta which also had mushrooms and other veggies in a yummy cheesy sauce. Not sure whether I would call it “edible art” (as advertised on their card) from a vegetarian perspective, but it was pretty good!
Hmmm, I am not really sure what to say about this place. They pretty much only had one vegetarian entree on the menu, but we were able to adapt a pasta dish (omitting the ham), and ordered the entree as a main and therefore we were able to eat a decent meal. The pasta came with a shallot, tomato and (a minuscule amount of) chilli and I really can’t see why it even would have needed ham, but each to their own! Martin had the mushroom stack which came with a garlic aoli and balsamic vinegar sauce, as well as piled high with deep fried sprouts. We also decided to share a salad and some steamed veggies. The food was ok. The steamed veggies were the highlight, but that could have been because we were just craving plain old veggies at this point! But I don’t think it was really worth the money. I wouldn’t bother going back.
Well, this is going to be a rave about a fantastic new restaurant that I hope does really well! We picked up a brochure from the McLaren Vale information centre from this place which had bits of the menu on it including a couple of veggie dishes, so we thought we would check it out. We rang and booked, although that wasn’t entirely necessary as we were the only people there that night! They had only been open for about six weeks, doing lunch and dinner three days a week to start with, and are located in a cellar door which also has an olive grove. My only complaint is that it was a bit difficult to figure out which building they are in – if you are planning to go there then they are in the first building that you see as you drive in the driveway! We mentioned that we were vegetarian to the maitre-d as she started to explain the meat based specials, so she left us with the menu. A few moments later the chef appeared and said that if there wasn’t enough choice on the menu he could adapt something, or if we felt like something in particular and he had the ingredients he would cook us something else. We were happy with the menu options and decided on homemade bread with olive oil and dukkah, pear and fetta salad with a shiraz vinegarette as our entree, followed by a green Thai curry with organic tofu and wholemeal fettuccine puttanesca (listed without anchovies). The pear and fetta salad was to die for and is one of the best salads I have ever eaten – the fetta was creamy and non-crumbly and the vinegarette was amazing, with chopped up bits of red cabbage or red grapes which added a lovely sweetness. The pasta was great – full of lovely capers and olives and the fettuccine itself was cooked to perfection. The Thai green curry was something else – the chef said it was hot, but it wasn’t a lingering heat, and he was right. It was hot and fresh but your mouth didn’t burn for the rest of the night! Martin opted for dessert while I simply had hot chocolate. He claims that the marbled chocolate veneer is the best dessert he has ever eaten – which is a big call and I tried to remember previous desserts that he/we had eaten that came close and I couldn’t. This dessert was a pure creation – a nutty base filled with pistachios, topped with a chocolate moussey cake type thing and finished with a thick layer of white and dark chocolate mousse. All of this was drizzled with a chocolate and honey sauce (inspired – adding honey to chocolate sauce!) and chunks of toffee! Truely divine! I would definitely recommend trying this place if you are in McLaren Vale at any time! And we will certainly be going back next time we are over that way!
The Green Herring is a little out of the way and for that reason is probably not somewhere you would think of going unless it was a special occasion. A friend wanted to check it out for just that reason, so we decided to head there for lunch. I have been here before and was quite impressed – it was during the middle of winter and there was a fabulous roaring fire in the room we were in. But it was years ago and it was a banquet, so I was keen to check it out again. And let’s just say, I was certainly not disappointed! The food was amazing! We both started with pumpkin and sweet potato soup (yes in the middle of summer!) and it was great. For the mains my friend had fish, while I ordered the salad with mixed lettuce, avocado, vermicelli, capsicum etc with a vinagerette (I can’t remember exactly what was in it) with rice noodles and fresh asparagus. After taking our order, the owner/waitress returned and told me that they didn’t have any fresh asparagus but they had a variety of other fresh vegetables they could use, and asked me if I wanted to pick or let them ‘go crazy’. I decided to let them ‘go crazy’ and it was the best option! The salad came served in a crispy edible bowl type thing and it wasn’t until I was half way through it that I discovered the bok choy that they had added at the bottom! I think it was one of the best salads I have ever eaten, despite the fact that it was without the fresh asparagus that attracted me to it in the first place… For dessert we shared their famous ice cream filled profiteroles. I say famous because that is the main thing that I remember from the last time I was there and because whenever you say the Green Herring to someone, they mention those profiteroles! And they are so very yummy! Well worth saving space for them when you are considering what you will order for entrée and main! And even though we were sharing a single dessert – they were kind enough to put them on separate plates for us – which really impressed me. Overall, we were incredibly impressed and have vowed to go back! It is certainly not the cheapest place to eat, but the food is well worth it. My only complaint is that the menu is completely carnivore and you have to ask for a separate vegetarian menu, but once you get it the options are plentiful and the food is inspired.