Coal Valley Vineyard Restaurant

Licensed $-$$   Hat iconHat icon   Glass iconGlass icon
257 Richmond Road, Cambridge
03) 6248 5367
Open: Open seven days 11.00am. to 5.00pm.

With three distilleries, 15 vineyards, four wineries, three vineyard and cellar door restaurants with another about to open, two cheeseries, a chocolatier plus expanded plantings and visitor facilities at Puddleduck and Pooley’s, the 15km from Cambridge to Richmond must be one of the most diverse and exciting gastronomic drives in the country.

There’s now an added attraction with the re-opening of Coal Valley Restaurant and Cellar Door by owners Gill Christian and Todd Goebels as a seven-day-a-week operation in place of the Coterie.

Those who remember, will recall that when Christian and Goebels bought the vineyard in 1999, it was the first vineyard eatery and only the second cellar door in the valley.

Over the next few years chefs such as Kate Hardman, Paul Foreman and Claire Falconer firmly established the CVR as, in the words of a then leading tourism operator, “one of the real jewels in Tasmania’s crown”. And for many years, it provided food and wine experiences to match any wine region in the country.

Then, for personal reasons and to concentrate their efforts in the vineyard, Christian and Goebels closed up shop and the facility remained closed until the Coterie took it over two years ago.

“Now”, says Christian, “it’s great to be back. Instead of a proper restaurant as we were doing in the earlier days, we now consider ourselves to be simply a vineyard offering food with our wines. The food is simpler, prices are lower and, after all the years, our wines are even better. We’ve only been opened since the beginning of October and it’s going well”.

And it was great for us to be able once more to relax with those fabulous vineyard and water views while enjoying some of chef Paul Willcock’s delightful food.

The highlight of our lunch was a generous serving of pappardelle with broken up pieces of confit duck, a creamy mushroom ragu and fresh peas tossed through. It was, without doubt, the most enjoyable pasta dish I’ve had in years. Running a close second was what the menu listed as a ‘torta verde’ – a rustic herb and spinach pie spiked with fennel and with perfect, crisp pastry. Simple but quite delicious.

Even simpler was Caesar salad deconstructed to the max consisting only of a wedge of crisp cos lettuce with a light, egg-free and anchovy-flavoured Caesar dressing with a scattering of crisped pellets of Spanish jamon. A brave dish, possibly not for everyone, but I enjoyed it immensely.

More for everyone was a well-flavoured beef burger and a serving of braised, Moroccan-spiced lamb shoulder on a puddle of good hummus with pine nuts. We also had a nicely made but slightly over-spiced ham hock complemented by a beautifully refreshing and composed fennel, orange, apple and green leaf salad.

Menu items we didn’t try include chicken croquets, char-grilled octopus, smoked salmon rillettes pulled pork burger, crumbed flathead with salsa verde and a vineyard platter consisting of the ham hock terrine, the salmon rillettes, jamon, pickles and cheese.

And, if Christian and Goebel’s emphasis is now as a vineyard serving food, then it’s good to see that two of their current pinot noirs were rated among the top ten medal winners at the recent Royal Melbourne Wine Awards. And, for something different, try their lush, 2013 tempranillo.
Or else there’s a small selection of local ciders and beers.

Cos lettuce $8.00; beef burger $15.00; pappardelle $24.00; vineyard platter $28.00; tiramisu $10.00

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