I am a writing Novelist from Austria - www.bettinabuechel.com/entangled_souls.asp - I am living in South Australia since December 2010 and enjoy it a lot. Besides this I look after a small vineyard - www.lot333wines.com.au
Published November 5th 2012
The bridge between fine and casual dining
The Barn Bistro in McLaren Vale was the first place we visited for dinner in this picturesque wine region of South Australia. We were there on a Sunday or Monday evening and all other restaurants seemed to have closed their doors. A little disappointed and very hungry, we tried the last opportunity for a fine dinner before the fast food chain Subway would be our last choice. From outside it looked as well closed, but we were lucky. And after dinner we were even more happy.
Located in the famous Main Street of McLaren Vale, this old building has a long history back to the 1840s. As the name suggests, the building with its extensive stables was first home for work horses. Later, the property fell into disrepair, until 1996 the original coach house has been renovated and the famous "The Barn Bistro and Art Gallery" came into existence. After a face-lift in 2006, this gorgeous spot finally gots its ambience and character.
The Barn Bistro is a dining facility with various wonderful sitting areas. Starting with the Tapas lounge, which gives the place a modern touch and is a perfect meeting point for an after work beer as well as a popular nightspot. The inside dining room is the perfect setting for fine dining, with its white tablecloths and high black cushioned chairs. More casual and most popular is the courtyard area, which is undercover and can be used all year round. Not to mention the function room, which is located in the cellar and is a perfect place to host your private parties.
But not only the ambience, the atmosphere of this old building is fantastic, The Barn is also the perfect place to enjoy fabulous food. From delicious tapas to an innovative a la carte menu with modern Australian cuisine, you will experience a wide range of local products, which are prepared with care and love. The specials of the day allow the chef to be more creative and create dishes, which excite those of you, who like to try different and special tastes.
Specials: The walk-through wine cellar is something special for The Barn Bistro and very rare to find in the region. You can choose from more than 400 different labels. Some of them are well known and some are from boutique wineries of the region, that are worth to give them a try. And as not all of these small wineries have their own cellar door, The Barn offers a large range of local wines at cellar door prices, which you can take home with you.
My personal experience: Since we have visited this magnificent restaurant for the first time by chance, we come back on a regular basis. When we heard that the previous owners have sold, we were really shocked because we were afraid to lose this fantastic place. A week ago, we went with friends for dinner and we had our first experience with the new management. And we were far from being disappointed. Everything remained the same. The food is excellent, the hosts are very friendly and the prices are still affordable. Also our friends from our home country loved it.
My favorite meal: I do not have a real favourite since there are so many delicious dishes on the menu. Mostly we order some tapas and one of the daily specials. Since the portions are quite large, it does not take many dishes to fill you up. Therefore we can order different dishes every time, when we are there.
My ranking out of 10 (10 is the highest): Food and Service: 9