There has been a change of direction at iconic Yarra Valley cellar door and restaurant Levantine Hill - with a move towards flavours from the Mediterranean and Middle East.
After a five-year partnership with Melbourne chef Teage Ezard running the on-site eateries, the Jreissati family has decided to focus on dishes that hark back to their Levantine ancestry.
From June 25, the cellar door and dining experiences will include a selection of wine and food flights as well as a selection of multiple-course menus.
While the exterior of the architecturally stunning venue will remain the same, guests will have a very different gourmet experience.
"The offer has been redesigned to enhance its wine experience by merging its two menus into one and managing the venue as one large cellar door showroom," says owner Elias Jreissati.
"We will be eschewing the traditional 'cellar door bar' format with a new food philosophy to honour our heritage, creating dishes distinctly curated to showcase our wines."
That means adieu to Ezard.
Samantha Jreissati, managing Director of Levantine Hill Estate said: “The deep friendship and excellent working relationship between the Ezard and Jreissati families means that future partnerships and collaborations will not be far away.”
The new menu will feature lamb dishes from a rare-breed sheep enterprise featuring Talya Lamb from a fat-tailed sheep that originated in the biblical lands.
The lush pastures of Levantine Hill’s vineyards has seen the new flock thrive.
The new menu, created by head chef Vinnie Robinson, will be based on local Yarra Valley produce, but will have a significant Mediterranean influence.
There will no longer be waiters at Levantine Hill, but wine specialists offering an extensive tasting menu to all visitors. Tastings of the wines made by maestro Paul Bridgeman will be offered at all tables in the restaurant with guests able to select from four-, six- or eight-course menus.
Each menu includes a selection of seasonal snacks with guests then choosing their remaining courses.
Think dishes like seven- spice duck samosa, tahini, pekmez, pomegranate pearls, pine nuts and clove-pickled golden beetroot; black aleppo grilled octopus with estate olive tapenade, grapefruit and squid ink crackers; charcoal chicken with lemon and garlic and grilled market fish with lemon tabouleh.
For details and menus see www.levantinehill.com.au/