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Showing posts from February, 2013

Guest post: Home Hill Wines, Huon Valley, TAS

Guest post by Stewart Kennedy.

Home Hill Wines (38 Nairn Road, Ranelagh, Tasmania) is one of the best and most understated winery/restaurant experiences I have ever had the pleasure of enjoying!

We first visited Home Hill during a Tasmanian visit about four years ago. Then, it was a lunch to remember, and this latest visit was just as good. Pinot Noir is their specialty, but after lunch today, I can also recommend the oysters and the lamb "done in various ways" as a main.

The chocolate-covered strawberries and "Pinot chocolates" were indulgent extras, not often on the menu:

The atmosphere at Home Hill is modern and relaxed. We booked ahead, but for Friday lunch it was not really necessary. Weekends, I am told, is another matter.

Oh - you can sit outside, too! There is something special about enjoying lunch among the vines with only tweeting birds to listen to. I loved it.

Joe's, Palais Theatre

Heading towards the Palais for a Neil Finn/Paul Kelly concert, we wanted to grab a bite to eat in St Kilda first. Being somewhat broke, I wanted somewhere near the theatre, cheap and filling. A quick Google search revealed the convenient proximity of Joe's (formerly Greasy Joe's) - a St Kilda institution that I'd never been to.

Joe's Bar and Diner (64-66 Acland Street, St Kilda - near the McDonald's!) was rebranded from "Greasy Joe's" just recently, and now seems to be aiming for a clean, fun, American vibe. Burgers are a large feature of the menu and, happily, they hover around the $13 mark. Between 4.30 and 6.30pm is special time: any beer and any burger for $15 - apparently served with chips, as seemed to be the case when we were there. I don't drink beer so couldn't really take advantage of the deal, but I think my chips were thrown in as a gesture (or by accident).

I went for something different: the "Lady of St Kilda", featuring…

Casa Ciuccio

It has long been my belief that everybody should be granted a holiday on their birthday. (Sadly, this is yet to pass as national law.) Likewise, if you are single on Valentine's Day, you should go out - if you're a girl, with the girls; if you're a boy, on a boy's night. Things are much more fun that way, and you still get to partake in the specials and menus designed by bars and restaurants specifically for the day.

And so it was, that on a glow-inducing, ultra-steamy Valentine's Day in 2013, a possé of nine fabulous Melbourne gals rocked up to Casa Ciuccio (15 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy) for cocktails and a sumptuous feast in celebration of our awesomeness.

Casa Ciuccio (meaning 'donkey house') is a sibling of the lovely Bar Lourinhã on Lt Collins Street - one of my first forays into Melbourne's laneway dining scene and also into Mediterranean, tapas-style share food. Ciuccio opened quietly in early 2012 to a positive reception, particularly by northsid…

German Club Tivoli

I studied German for quite a while and even participated in a student exchange to Germany during high school. I'm always tickled by a bit of German culture, food, or language. A Sunday lunch outing meant a chance to check out Melbourne's German scene at the German Club Tivoli (291 Dandenong Road, Windsor). (Is it just me, or does the word 'German' look weird when you see it a few times in a row?!)

Growing up with a European-born mother and grandparents meant I was no stranger to the odd hybrid culture of immigrants to Australia. There may be two languages spoken at home; trips overseas or visits from distant family; recipes brought over and reproduced as comfort food; music, attitudes and attributes that only people from the same culture can truly understand. Particularly the older generations seem to seek out the familiar: others who share and celebrate their culture; people who have gone through the same monumental life event of moving to a country on the other side o…