Sadly no longer open for business.
See Tramonto for more on this property.
Like something out of a dream the Bella Vedere restaurant stands tall, looking out over the vineyards of Badgers Brook Winery and the beauty of the Valley. There is a peace, a stillness where the aroma of the freshly baked bread beckons and welcomes you. You feel instantly at ease with the homely interior of the restaurant, it has a warmth and an old fashioned charm about it. You will feel like you have stepped into another world. A world where the customer is well looked after, where a need is met before it is a consideration. Where children are offered blueberry pancakes specially made for them by Chef Gary Cooper, because he thought they would enjoy them more than the menu items on offer. This is a place built on old fashioned values, where chivalry reigns and life is simple.
Much of the character of Bella Vedere is attributed to the lovingly tendered garden surrounding most of the restaurant. The beauty of this garden is that not only is it stunning to look at, it is almost entirely edible. It is evident that the seasonal produce growing in the garden directly influences the dishes on the menu, which I love. There is nothing more important for a healthy lifestyle than to eat seasonal produce from the area in which you live. So as I make my way through this stunning wine country I am impressed to see that many chef’s are planting edible gardens and planning their menus around their seasonal yield.
Also adding to the dapper charm of the venue is its rustic, homely and slightly masculine interior. The two people responsible for this old world charm are Tim and Gary who have been at the helm for eleven years now. There is nothing more endearing to me than to see proprietors respecting and applauding their staff, suppliers and family for their contribution to the success of their business. To celebrate their ten years of doors open, stoves burning and ovens baking, portraits were erected of each and every person who has committed to support Bella Vedere in their journey to becoming a local favourite.
It’s not often that it takes me ¾ of the write up to get to the food, but as you can see there are so many elements that contribute to the character and appeal of Bella Vedere. Gary Cooper has been honing his craft since he was 15 years of age. With his resumé boasting experience locally and abroad he has really come into his own here at Bella Vedere. It is evident the chefs philosophy is to use fresh, locally sourced ingredients with garden produce adorning the benches of the country style open kitchen. The meals are simply presented yet complex in flavours , for example the main of locally sourced tenderloin and pickled paw paw was refreshing, unique and delicious! Each dish is designed to share which is a nod to the Bella philosophy of ‘doing things the way they would like them done at a dinner party at home’.
Old-fashioned food preparation is what I love about this kitchen. For example; If you are on a morning adventure you will no doubt smell the aromas of the freshly baked sourdough loaves airing in the morning sun, begging you to take them home and love them with a smear of butter and a drizzle of honey.
Not interested in dessert? Then you may need to enter the restaurant through the backdoor. You see, this is another endearing quality of Bella Vedere, the desserts are made in house (as you would expect from a hatted chef and his team) and left to entice on the bench of the open window of the kitchen.
To end your experience at Bella Vedere one must take a stroll through the garden. This is an education in sustainable gardening at its best. It is delightfully beautiful with views of the Yarra Valley and Great Dividing Range. The kids will love the quirky scarecrow and the adults will love to meander through with a glass of wine in hand digesting the beauty of the Belle Vedere experience.
For more information on Bella Vedere please see www.bellavedere.com.au