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Saturday 28 October 2023

Why Esca Bimbadgen is well worth a visit

Esca Restaurant at Bimbadgen has long been a de rigueur dining destination for anyone visiting the Hunter Valley. 

I think I've been eating here for close to three decades, and a recent visit confirmed that standards remain high.

For anyone wanting a teste of the best of the region, the three-, four- or five-course degustation is highly recommended. 

After a winery tour and tasting of classic semillons, chardonnays and shirazes, of course. 

The entrance overlooks the working winery and once you are seated, indoors, or on the terrace, you are greeted by spectacular vineyard views. 

You can choose from the tasting menu, or just a pizza from from the wood-fired oven, depending on your level of hunger. 

Choose from dishes like gorgonzola ravioli with green apple, brown butter and walnuts (mouther-wateringly good); yellowfin tuna ceviche, maybe grilled West Australian octopus with lemon, nduja, pangrattato and white onion. 

Meatier options might include the likes of pork croquette with green olives and Calabrian chilli, or duck breast with purple cabbage, agrodolce, native pepper and hazelnut.

It's hard to go past desserts, too, with choices including tiramisu, and a brown sugar pavlova with strawberries. 

Choose by the glass, or bottle, or there is a Premium Signature wine choice with six wines matched to five courses.    

Esca Restaurant is a NSW Finalist in the 2023 Restaurant and Catering Awards for Excellence - as Restaurant in a Winery and Contemporary Australian Restaurant, Formal. 

Although it is not that formal, really. 

While the food is serious, the vibe is very relaxed. 

We were hosted by Sophie Andrews (regional GM for Bimbadgen) and assistant winemaker Sam Boyd, so ate and drank extremely well. An afternoon nap was needed. 

Esca is open for lunch Wednesday to Saturday from noon and for dinner Friday and Saturday from 6pm. 

For details see

The writer was a guest of Esca Bimbadgen

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