It was one of those names that kept popping up. Websites, business cards, the welcome pack at our Hunter Valley cottage. Apparently Enzo was the place to go. I felt we would fail Hunter Valley 101 if we didn't at least stop for morning tea.
For days we had been chasing Devonshire Tea: scones with jam and cream. It sounds simple enough, but we had been thwarted multiple times. Apparently Enzo was going to save us: their menu offered two scones and a coffee for the eye watering price of $15.
These were not scones like my Grandma would have made. I couldn't quite place where they had gone awry as they were light and tasty and the jam was delicious. They were generous in size and nicely presented. Yet somehow they were wrong, too cakey, too fluffy.
Feeling like I had wronged one of the Hunter's favourite sons, I was determined to give Enzo another chance the following day, and after looking at the breakfast menu, I decided that there was one thing that could earn my forgiveness: The Breakfast Board ($24).
This was an extraordinary breakfast option, a bit of a DIY where you could mix and match the flavours presented in any way you chose. I received two poached free range eggs, Berkshire ham sliced from the bone, a creamy feta, a fan of ripe avocado, roasted cherry tomatoes, two slices of toasted sourdough and a dish of delicious homemade red pistachio pesto. Yum.
The eggs yolks were still runny, the toast generously buttered, the feta rich and creamy, the avocado soft and sweet and the pistachio pesto had me cleaning the bowl with my fingers.
I actually was silly enough to think it wasn't a very big serve when it first arrived in front of me. However, the fact that there wasn't any room on the table after two of the boards arrived and the boards were so full of food we needed side plates to assemble our concoctions should have made it clear that this was a serious breakfast to contend with.
Forget 'Big Breakfasts' this was something even bigger.
For the record, Enzo do serve a Big Breakfast at $23, which has toast, three eggs, bacon, mushrooms and tomatoes. Other breakfast options include toasted walnut and banana bread ($12), 'refresh' ($16) which is vanilla yoghurt, fresh strawberries, home baked crumble and blue berries; and eggs benedict ($22).
Enzo is located in a Tuscan inspired complex near the village of Pokolbin. The complex also houses a cellar door, antique shop and an alpaca specialty shop. With its thick sandstone walls, dark wooden ceiling and enormous fireplace, Enzo feels like it is from another time. It is a very popular wedding venue.
If you are heading into the Hunter on a weekend, a booking would be highly recommended as it is obviously very popular with visitors and locals alike.