The Kitchen Door
Daily | 12.00pm - 3.00pm
Casual Bistro Style
$25 - $32 (mains)
Bookings (08) 8557 0840
The Kitchen Door at Penny’s Hill has been an icon on the McLaren Vale restaurant scene for many years and rightly so.
Attached to the Penny’s Hill cellar door the wide open space of the restaurant may lack a little bit of charm or you may say it looks tired – but that quickly becomes secondary as you enjoy the uninterrupted views onto the sheep paddock (and yes, sheep are likely to walk past), with a beautiful backdrop of vines and old post rail fences.
But before you settle down for lunch, take a stroll across the beautiful grounds of the old ‘Ingleburne’ homestead, a historic Georgian two-storey farmhouse, with ironstone stables and out-buildings.
Heading into the cellar door the wines from the Black Chook, Thomas Goss and Penny’s Hill range (long-time favourites of ours, definitely make sure to give their Grenache a try) are available for tasting and you will find artwork throughout as part of the Red Dot Gallery’s curated and constantly changing works by local artists.
There are two options for seating in the restaurant, with the indoors section protected by large floor to ceiling glass windows – but if the weather is good for it, definitely go for the (covered) outdoor verandah option. Beautiful views and just such a relaxed atmosphere.
Food focus is on regional and seasonal produce, and after recent changes in chefs changed from fine dining to a casual bistro style dining experience. Now that however doesn't mean only focaccias, burgers and fries, at least not on weekends. Actually you won't find burgers at all, but rather you have steak sandwich or foccacia, bowl of pasta or pizza to choose from for midweek lunches.
From Fridays till Sundays you will also find lovely presented fish and steak on the menu, in addition to the bistro style dishes listed above - plus obviously a few deserts or cheeses to finish off.
In short, if you are not looking for, or don't have the time to immerse yourself in a full fine dining lunch experience, the Kitchen Door does offer the perfect alternative. Combine this with their always friendly and very attentive service and their great wines (definitely give the Penny’s Hill Grenache a try) and you may end up staying on for hours on the verandah after all - enjoying the afternoon sun and views across the paddock.
The latest addition to Penny’s Hill, open however on weekends only, is a Gin bar and tasting room in one of the old stone outbuildings, featuring Mad Men and Kangaroo Island Spirits gin. Good reason to stay on for just a little longer.