Laura Restaurant, Point Leo Estate, Mornington Peninsula
It’s hard to take your eyes off the outstanding outdoor sculpture and sweeping Western Port Bay views from Laura, the Point Leo Estate Restaurant – until lunch arrives. Then it’s a rainbow of vivid colours plus stunning presentation and fabulous tastes that command your attention.
Orchestrated by culinary director Phil Wood and his dedicated team, the experience is a celebration of art, nature, design, food and wine, set on 134 ha on the Mornington Peninsula’s southernmost tip. Drop into the semi-circular cellar door for a wine tasting then venture to the 110-seat restaurant with a central wood-fired oven and a menu designed for sharing.
It’s hard to beat the beetroot pancake with lemon curd and salmon roe but the Dutch carrot soufflé with brown butter and wild scampi roe comes close. Then there’s the duck breast glazed in peninsula honey, lavender, celeriac and turnips and the wood-roasted flathead with macadamia and seaweed plus a grand finale of rhubarb, apple and chardonnay ice cream or a chocolate extravaganza.
The wine list features up to 100 Victorian drops including Mornington Peninsula favourites. The modern bistro buzz encourages you to linger but leave time to stroll among the 50 amazing sculptures followed by a cocktail on the terrace named after some of them. The building’s simple curve, captures the views and engages with the vineyard and sculpture park while an abstract interpretation of wine pouring from a bottle greets guests at the entrance.