The essence of Margaret River has been packed into Providore – excellent food, great wine and a sense of style. The operation includes a vineyard, organic food garden, orchard, olive grove, cellar door, shop and restaurant.
Gourmet Traveller Magazine last year named Providore as one of Australia's top 100 gourmet experiences. It is not, however, one of Australia's most expensive restaurants, with all mains at less than $30.
The open plan restaurant, gourmet food shop and cellar door all share one large rammed-earth building. We scored a table with a view out onto the vineyard.
The menu is a short document listing three entrees, five mains, four side dishes and three puddings. Two of my dining companions - my mother and my husband - opted for the pork belly with organic veggies while I chose tempura whiting with potato, salad and paprika aioli.
There is no written children's menu but the waitress offered my daughter various choices.
The pork belly turned out to be man of the match. It was a substantial chunk of melt-in-your-mouth meat sitting on a colorful mound of roast veggies. The layer of fat was generous without being obscene, and crispy on top.
The tempura whiting was well cooked and the salad full of herbs and color. The plating was attractive in an unfussy and rustic way.
Sophisticated and rustic might sound like a contradiction in terms but both words could apply to the general vibe of the place. The undressed, slatted tables and outdoor chairs were rustic, while oversized hanging lamps offered a design element. Table numbers took the form of laminated playing cards – a whimsical touch.
While the others did some wine tasting, I took my preschooler for a tour of the gardens where she delighted in feeding grass to the free-range chooks.
When they return, I find that hubby has secretly bought me some lemon curd ($13.95) while my mother bought me a bottle of spicy shiraz sauce ($17.95) – both of which I liked but was too tight to buy myself.
Can i ask when this review was written, as providores website says their restaurant/cafe is now in the margaret river choc factory next door where i've been before and not that keen on. However if providore do have a cafe/restaurant in their own store now then i will try it out next month when down in MR?