Review | Meletos, Coldstream

Originally published on Concrete Playground.

Dine on premium Modern European dishes with panoramic views of Victoria’s wine region.

Getting to the Yarra Valley is half the experience; trailing through those straw-yellow hills is the closest thing to Tuscany Melburnians are going to get. But there’s no use driving around aimlessly. You’ll need to head to the Valley with a plan of where you are going to eat, otherwise you’ll be totally overwhelmed by the number of tempting wineries that spring up every couple of hundred metres. All up, there’s about 160.

So let us introduce Meletos. A beautiful eatery brought to you by the founders of nearby estate and restaurant Stones, the Meletos estate features a 23-room boutique guesthouse and, beside it, a restaurant and cafe. Located on a dirt path just off the gloriously straight St Huberts Road — which makes you feel like you’re driving to nowhere — the stunning eatery is open for lunch and dinner every night of the week.

On the weekends, the place is buzzing. Chances are you’ll have to endure a wait. But it’s not that bad of a place to hang around — you could certainly do a lot worse. In the heart of the Yarra Valley, you can take a stroll around the grounds, to the church, the guesthouse and take in panoramic views of the surrounding area. When that’s all done, enjoy a glass of your preferred drop on the communal concrete tables that line the entrance to the restaurant or perhaps in the weathered steel-framed glasshouse.

But now for the important stuff: the food. You can go down the road of sharing or going solo — either should be satisfying. The menu is made up of an appetisers section, salumi, around six mains, knockout wood-fired pizza, a few sides and, of course, dessert.

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Starters include European-inspired dishes such as saffron and prosciutto arancini with salsa verde ($12), and a barbecued quail from nearby Wandin with skordalia (a Greek garlic dip), mixed cress and cracked wheat ($18).

The pizza menu is almost torturous to choose from. All are $25 (so not even price can determine your decisions) and a few standouts include the cotechino sausage pizza with pickled zucchini and provolone cheese and the prawn-topped pizza with confit tomatoes and feta from the restaurant’s neighbour, the Yarra Valley Dairy.

The wine list is a combination of the region’s highlights, some New South Wales and South Australian drops and others from New Zealand, France, Switzerland and Italy. All that’s left to wish for is beautiful weather.

Image credit: supplied.

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