Lunch in the Dining Room
Thu to Sun | 12.00pm - 3.00pm
$90 (4 course) | $110 (6 course)
Lunch on the Cellar Door Deck
Daily |12.00pm - 3.00pm
$13 - $28 Tasting Plates
Bookings (08) 8323 8200 or online through The Fork
If you need another proof point that McLaren Vale is a true wine and food destination, then look no further than Maxwell’s Restaurant. Headed by a fellow German, Fabian Lehmann, with a pedigree of having worked at Michelin star credited restaurants across Europe, the food on offer is truly exceptional. And needless to say, the same is true for their wines whether it is the everyday drinking Little Demon Shiraz/Grenache or the Lime Cave Cab Sav for that special occasion. Not to forget and unique in McLaren Vale is their mead (definitely recommend to have one of Maxwell’s spiced mead at home for those cold winter evenings).
But back to the food: the recently (Sep/Oct 2018) revamped restaurant and cellar door at Maxwell’s now features two distinct areas, the indoor fine dining restaurant and the casual seating in the cellar door and on the outdoor deck (fully enclosed) for a more informal menu, based on sharing plates and cheese platters. The beauty about the casual cellar door tasting menu is that you are able to treat yourself to samples of the same amazing food as in the restaurant, without having to invest the time (as the tasting menu will take at least 2 hours, plus the extra time for some wine or mead tasting and your afternoon is gone); the downside of the cellar door tasting is that you definitely want to come back for more – or wished you had booked into the restaurant in the first place.
Both deck and restaurant offer the same beautiful views over the vineyards and rolling hills out the front of Maxwell and the tables inside the cellar door are particular popular in winter with the open fire going.
As with almost all fine dining restaurants in McLaren Vale nowadays, the focus is on local produce and therewith heavily influenced by the seasons, with one speciality of Maxwell’s being their variety of mushrooms, grown in their very own Lime Cave.
The food combinations show a high level of complexity, unusual on first sight but always a perfect match with your taste buds being exposed to an amazing journey. And the perfection is not just in the flavour but carries through to the presentation with each dish – even a simple cheese board – being a work of art. And by the way, the cheeses are anything but simple, for example currently include one of our favourite cheeses, the Bruny Island C2 raw cow milk.
In short, the full restaurant experience is taking up some time and certainly not a bargain (and the portions could be a little larger) – but it definitely is an amazing experience and highly recommended.