A freelance writer and traveller who likes to explore the spiritual, literary and hidden gems of Adelaide and beyond.
Published April 11th 2015
Regional food shines
The McLaren Vale district is blessed with an abundance of world-class wineries. In amongst the high quality cellar doors on offer there are several wineries that boast their own restaurants. I decided to revisit an old favourite venue whose hospitality has been consistently putting on great regional food since 1988.
Woodstock Coterie continues the fine tradition of providing excellent Australian food, wine and location. If you are looking for a relaxed place for a gathering this is the place. The word Coterie means the gathering of a group of people for a specific purpose. In this case fine food and wine. On the day we visited live entertainment was also a bonus. With the soft guitar sounds and a solo voice floating through the air.
Woodstock wine estate is set on a huge bush block at McLaren Flat. A winding brick path guides the visitor past native gardens past the Woodstock stocks. The original Woodstock property was named by English settlers, after their hometown of Woodstock, near Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, England. In the centre of the town of Woodstock in England stands a set of medieval wooden leg stocks, which were historically used for the public punishment of townsfolk who had over-imbibed. A replica of these stocks welcomes you at the entrance of Woodstock Estate in McLaren Vale.
Outdoors dining takes full advantage of the sights and sounds of the bush. Sit on the verandah or under the huge canvas umbrellas. Woodstock has large rustic wooden tables outside and has such a peaceful setting.
The dining area.Woodstock Coterie photo Jenny Esots
Inside the visitor is surrounded by gorgeous rammed earth walls, white tablecloths and high, high ceilings. The only thing missing from the interior was any artwork. Such a large space is ideal for some art pieces. There are some stunning artworks outside, including a wombat statue and striking outdoor mural at the entrance.
Woodstock are about to debut their new menu. But on this day we were still on the summer menu. Succulent bugs were on the menu. Tempura bug tails with Chinese five spice and chilli salt were served with house made squid ink noodles salad with pickled daikon coriander, spring onion, wakami seaweed & chilli julienne with fried Shallot served with Miso Mayo. The noodles were thin and tasty, the bugs were juicy and were beautifully presented.
Tempura bug tails with Chinese five spice and chilli salt.
Other offerings include a range of steaks, SA gulf king prawns and Aranchini. All simply but beautifully plated. Side orders include Arancini garden veggies sautιed in parsley & caper salsa verde. Thick cut chips served with garlic & lemon aioli. A garden salad with cherry tomato, cucumber, sheep's feta, spanish onions and Brian's kalamata olives. Or a rocket salad with Jamσn, poached beurre bosc pear, Spanish onion. The salads were a bit underwhelming, but the veggies were crisp and well cooked.
Platters and pizzas There is a well patronised platter that is probably the most economic option. The Woodstock regional platter is a generous offering and comes fully laden with a selection of locally smoked meats including Ellis' Red Gum smoked Ham, Aldinga Turkey, Woodstock's famous Turkey and Muscat Pβtι, Ellis'Chorizo and Potato Frittata, Leek, Sweet Corn & Saffron Arancini Brian's marinated Olives, marinated Mushroom, Strout Farm smoked Paprika Almonds, Hindmarsh Valley Chθvre, vine ripened Cherry Tomatoes Ciabatta and Pita Bread. Friday nights are pizza nights with a wood oven pizza in operation and live entertainment.
Woodstock wines at the Coterie photo Jenny Esots
The Wine List Woodstock Coterie stocks only Woodstock wines. Which is a bit cheeky, but they are all winners so all is well there. Wine prices are low to average. The menu has wine suggestion match ups if desired.
This is one of the finest restaurants in the area and has a big following. It is best to book, especially on weekends. Ideal for special occasions or for more casual occasions try the regional platter or pizza night. The Woodstock Coterie is open daily for lunch from 12 midday until 3pm. Platters available until 4pm.