Last month I had the pleasure of attending a Canberra food blogger meet up, organised by the lovely Liz from Bizzy Lizzy’s Good Things, at the impressive Pialligo Estate.
The Estate is located in Pialligo, around the corner from the main nursery strip and down a long driveway. Unfortunately it was too dark to get a good view of the grounds, but I can’t wait to get back during daylight to see the apple orchard, olive groves, smoke house, pavilion and from what I hear a pretty spectacular courtyard area.
The restaurant at Pialligo Estate is located inside the Farmhouse, a large cathedral slash barn like structure, made of brick and wood. It is rustic and homely, and gosh darned charming. The space is open and warm, elegant and intimate. This is a special place for special occasions, and yet a good place for a catch up with friends.
I was welcomed out of the cold night by a roaring fire, leather couches and canapés! If only every day ended like that! You can see the kitchen from the main dining area, but we were relocated to the more intimate back area of the restaurant so we didn’t get to see “the magic happen”. After de-thawing over a drink and catch up with fellow foodies, we were escorted to tables where we’d been provided personal menus. Cute touch! You can see the kitchen from the main dining area, but we were relocated to the more intimate back area of the restaurant so we didn’t get to see “the magic happen”.
As we sat down to the first of many fantastic glasses of wine, we were treated to a talk from the Estate’s ‘culinary director’ (aka my dream job), Jan Gundlach, who explained the future plans for this new kid on the block. Soon there will be pavilions that cater to a less high-end dining experience and also offer a space for events.
And then the food started to be delivered. Oh the food. In a word, the food at Pialligo Estate farmhouse was “exquisite”. Everything was created with finesse, creativity and a finely tuned knowledge of how food works and how it fits together.
Highlights included the amuse bouche of salmon deliciousness (smoked on site) and the duck (one of the best duck dishes I’ve ever eaten). Dessert was also sublime!
The service was some of the best I’ve experienced in Canberra; every staff member was friendly and knowledgeable. The sommelier explained everything we were drinking and gave us some great information about how it paired with the dish. We were evening lucky enough to be sent home with a bottle of the Pialligo Estate Riesling – which is tasty tasty!
If it feels like I am gushing, that’s because I am. Thanks to amazing food, welcoming atmosphere and great company, I had a fantastic evening at Pialligo Estate.
*disclaimer – while we did pay for our meal at Pialligo Estate, thanks to the generosity of the management, we were offered a significant discount. All thoughts and opinions are my own.