The recommendations keep coming for ways to spend time in McLaren Vale with today’s tip a winery I’ve visited before but not taken advantage of dining there before. Well that’s an oversight I’ve now rectified and a place I intend visiting again with so much left untasted!
d’Arry’s Verandah restaurant is part of the d’Arenberg winery which is most lately in the media for ‘The Cube’. This restaurant is housed in the original homestead and as the name suggests, you can dine alfresco on the verandah and beyond under huge shades and umbrellas while savouring the unending views of the vales into the distance.
The award winning restaurant is managed by Jo Reschke with the Head Chef being Peter Reschke and our super attentive and friendly waiter was Oliver Reschke. You can opt for a degustation menu or a la carte which we chose. The food was, as hoped, a feast for the eyes as well as the belly. Our choices were
- Nature’s chicken breast with pea and ham veloute herb ‘n’ onion stuffing and chicken crackling
- Beef fillet and beef cheek mac ‘n’ cheese stuffed onion with smoked cherry tomatoes, mashed potato and glaze
- Sides – Broccolini and fried lentils with spiced yoghurt dressing and warm baby potatoes with truffle cream and crisp shallots
- Shared dessert – Soft centred chocolate pudding with Dead Arm (shiraz) curd chocolate ice cream, d’Arry’s aero and chocolate nibs.
The dessert we were told could aptly be referred to as ‘Death by chocolate’ – what a way to go!
All of the food was exceptional and you can’t really go wrong with any choices of wine you make either. This is an extremely popular restaurant to dine at and when you try booking online you will see just how tricky it can be to get a weekend booking but it’s one of those places that I think is preferable on a weekday if possible, to avoid the crowds both here and in the cube.
Another choice in the old homestead area is Polly’s wine lounge where you can make selections to create your own platter and relax, bar style, on the verandah, in the wine bar or on the lawn area when the weather is just right, which is anytime at the moment. You don’t have to book at Polly’s which is another bonus.
I’ve written about the cube before but there is a new exhibition at the moment, very fittingly it’s a surrealist exhibition featuring 25 authentic Salvador Dali bronze sculptures and graphic artworks from the Dali Museum in Paris. Some of the larger pieces can be seen outside of the cube but to see the collection admission cost is $25 which includes entry to the Cube, the Alternate Realities Museum and the Salvador Dali Exhibition. If you have dined at d’Arry’s Verandah or the Cube Restaurant, entry is reduced to $10.
Time unfortunately was against having a look on this occasion but then it’s another reason to return again. Stopping to buy some wine at the stables building before leaving brought a new weird and wonderful experience though with a Carnival tent set up next door. Inside was Archers Arcadia, a roadshow of interactive automata and coin operated amusement machines that if you’re like me have only seen similar on American TV shows.
The artist behind this show is David Archer from Adelaide. It’s a brilliant macabre setup of moving interactive pieces but lots of fun to look at and admire the work that’s gone into the machines. While you’re there why not find out your fortune. 🔮
You can be guaranteed of something beyond the normal it seems every time you visit the ever surprising d’Arenberg winery.