We have been to the restaurant at the Black Swan winery a number of times, always coming away impressed by the quality of the food in what is one of the Valley’s best winery restaurants. The dining area has pretty views over lawns at the back and down to the vines and the Darling Scarp in the background; the room comfortable and with a welcoming ambience.
The menu changes regularly and always seems to have something new that appeals to us – on this occasion we decided to share an entrée before moving onto the mains.
That starter set the standard – crisply fried semolina coated squid rings, exceptionally tender, served with a salad of cucumber, red capsicum, fried vermicelli with Thai herbs and spices. The Asian spice blended beautifully with the squid to produce an excellent beginning to our meal – and as with all of the dishes here was of generous size, easily enough to satisfy us both.
To the mains – first a classic of the French kitchen – Beef Bourguignon – tender braised beef, cooked in a casserole with red wine, mushrooms, bacon, onions, garlic to produce a glossy, aromatic stew, perfectly seasoned, hearty and delicious. A real country kitchen dish perfect as we head further into the cooler months. This was served with broccolini, carrots and a purée of earthy parsnip.
The second of our choices, pan seared scallops, plump, full of salty flavours of the ocean, served in a large, open spinach ravioli, in a heady bisque made from prawns and lobster, with a slosh of basil oil adding aromatics and delicate aniseed flavours.
With our meal, we ordered a bottle of the 2014 Bordeaux blend – a mix of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot. It is a lovely wine – lifted blackcurrant, chocolate and plum aromas on the nose, with more black fruit, mulberry, sour cherry and liquorice on the palate; the tannins are smooth, and the oak treatment leads the wine to a long, full finish. It would certainly cellar well over the next 5-7 years and is a great accompaniment to food.
We have always found the service here to be friendly, welcoming and attentive and it was no different on this visit. Black Swan is well worth a visit when next you are in the Valley – very good food, complemented by good wines, and a lovely setting, make for a very pleasant occasion. We recommend it.
One last point – as you will gather the kitchen has a French influence and each year prepares a special menu to celebrate Bastille Day – falling this year on a Sunday – and the menu sounds exciting – check it out at http://www.blackswanwines.com.au/blog/bastille-day-black-swan-winery/
Definitely worth booking a table, it will sell quickly!