The jewel in the crown of Pt. Leo Estate – the newly minted Mornington Peninsula landmark that encompasses a vineyard, sculpture park, cellar door and bistro – Laura restaurant is a 45-seat portal into the delightfully unstuffy future of once-straight-laced winery fine dining.
As you’d expect of a long-time Neil Perry lieutenant, chef Phil Wood is approaching the task with a steely focus on regional produce and conjuring magic from ingredients both exotic and commonplace.
The former: a meaty lion’s mane mushroom in an Asian-style glaze hooks up with abalone and radish in a puddle of shiso-spiked beetroot. The latter: a soft confit potato and chewy nubs of pistachio nougatine are topped with brûléed miso cream, trout roe and caviar.
Some of the best waitstaff in the business have washed up on these wild Western Port shores. They’ll even encourage you to take a mid-meal wander outside to visit Laura’s namesake statue, a captivating eight-metre-tall woman’s head that is best contemplated with a glass from the broad international wine list in hand.
Atmosphere: Intimate, refined dining
Best for: Seasonal produce and matching wines
Standout dish: Scallop and Shitake Mushroom Risotto
Open: Thursday, Friday & Saturday 12 noon to 10:30pm | Sunday 12 noon to 5:00pm
Address: Pt Leo Estate, 3649 Frankston-Flinders Road, Merricks
Phone number: (03) 5989 9011
SEE ALSO: The Mornington Peninsula