Herald Sun - Weekend
Saturday 21st July 2018
GEMIMA CODY - February 12 2018 GOOD FOOD
It's all happening in Victoria's north east. Keen eaters will remember that the duo behind Tani Eat and Drink (RIP), Hamish Nugent and Rachel Reed, were getting into distilling before closing up last April. After growing their gin brand, Remedy gin, for the past year, the duo are back to serving too.
Reed and Co. – their new distillery, cellar door and dining operation in one – is sharing a space with Sixpence coffee roastery at 15 Wills Street, Bright.
Drop in by day for gin flights, mini G and Ts and simpler cellar door food (local charcuterie and cheeses), or on weekend evenings for an entirely wood-fire-fuelled menu including the pork buns they'll never be able to outrun and dishes like whole local cod cooked over coals with hay-smoked potatoes, and maybe salmon cured with eucalyptus citriodora and cold smoked over pine needles – botanicals both used in the gin.
While you're there, hit Beechworth where industry veterans Scott Daintry, Andrew Madden and chef Shauna Stockwell (ex-Stanley Hotel) have taken over the Empire Hotel to sling a sharp mod-Asian menu, cocktails and a hyper-local wine list compiled by asking 50 local winemakers to put forward their own favourite bottle.
Meanwhile Michael Ryan and Jeanette Henderson's Provenance is reopening on February 15 with a new look. Stage one of a renovation has seen new lighting installed, dimming the heritage dining room and putting focus on tables. Banquettes are coming in stage two and to match the new goat hair carpet Ryan says he'll be serving the beast for a "carpet to plate" philosophy.
Get alpine before silly snow season starts.
ANDREW TAYLOR April 30 2018 GOOD FOOD
Don't let the graceful, gold-rush-era architecture and friendly folk of Beechworth fool you. The town was a hot bed of revolutionary fervour when the Kelly Gang roamed the countryside and were frequent guests of Her Majesty at Beechworth Gaol.
Incensed with the brutal behaviour of the Victoria Police, Ned Kelly reputedly threatened to declare Victoria's north-east a republic before his capture, conviction and execution in 1880.
Life is calmer these days, with Beechworth ruled by food and wine producers rather than bushrangers and the constabulary.
Give a tired-looking hotel a lick of paint and decent wine list featuring local drops and watch her come alive. Add a well-conceived menu starring local produce and it's easy to see why the Empire Hotel is bursting with bonhomie. Aided on the floor by Andrew Madden and Scott Daintry, chef Shauna Stockwell adds glamour to pub grub with dishes such as drunken brisket dumplings in a shiitake broth, ocean trout with cauliflower hummus and green olive relish and lamb rump with red lentil dhal and spinach pahi.