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Apr 18, 2012 09:45 PM

Looking for southern Tassie recommendations

We'll be there in July staying in Hobart, Huon Valley, Bruny Island and possibly somewhere near Mt Field. Looking for any suggestions for restaurants, bakeries, artisanal food producers and wineries along our route.

Will most cellar doors be open in winter?

If we only have one dinner in Hobart, should it be at Garagistes? If we have the opportunity for a second dinner, where should that be? We'll definitely be there on a Wednesday night and maybe a Tuesday night.

Has anyone been to the wine bar or restaurant at MONA? How about the New Sydney Hotel? Thinking of one of those for lunch.


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  1. Bruny Island Cheese!

    Yes to Garagistes, but as it is no bookings you need to be reasonably comfortable you will be able to get there at a sensible time after sightseeing.

    1. yes, Garagistes. the food at the MONA restaurant was beautiful and the setting stunning, I myself might choose Monty's instead - food is also great there and it is a very friendly cosy setting - plus walking distance if you are staying in Hobart. You do have to book though. The New Sydney is completely different - I liked it, better than your average pub food. A german chef - I liked the mains a lot, the dessert was a little too deconstructed for my taste. I think it would be an enjoyable low key lunch, not super gourmet, but good.

      In Huon Valley I like the red velvet lounge and on Bruny I loved the Get Shucked Oysters and the bread and cheese at Bruny Island cheese. I miss the oysters, wish I could have more.

      in Hobart I really like the pecan sticky bun at Sweet Envy in North Hobart. they have great ice cream too. I also like Jackman McRoss in the battery pt location. and the bread from summer kitchen at salamanca mkt. oh and Pigeon Hole does a limited menu, but it is delicious. and A Common Ground down at Salamanca (but a full time store, not just at the market). I liked the Saturday market and the smaller Sunday market.

      take some warm clothing.

      5 Replies
      1. re: debbieann

        Thanks to you both. I'll make sure to get to Garagistes early. I will look into Monty's. Thanks for all the other recs too. Unfortunately we won't be there on a weekend so will miss the market.

        1. re: PattyC

          Whenever we've gone in Winter we've found many regional places are closed. Tourism drops off significantly and I think the locals use it as a chance to go north to warmer climes. To avoid disappointment, it's best to check with the venue/attraction before driving there.

          What we've found when visiting Hobart is that the locals eat around 6 - 6:30pm. We tend to eat at around 8pm, so there was never an issue getting a seat at Garagistes. The tables are all communal and you are seated on stools, the room feels a little like a bunker so quite casual and a fitting after a day at MONA.

          We and several other friends have had disappointing meals at The Moorilla restaurant above MONA, but the wine bar there is certainly worth going to, as well as the cellar door where you can have both a wine(Moorilla) and beer(Moo Brew) tasting.

          Our favourite Hobart breakfast/casual lunch spot featuring local and seasonal artisan produce is Pigeon Hole and we go regularly to Jackman and McRoss Bakery/cafe for great daytime food.

          In the Huon you can't beat The Red Velvet Lounge for superb local produce cooked exceptionally by Steve Cumper. Whether it is a casual day time meal or afternoon tea of spectacular homemade cakes or a special weekend evening meal you can't go wrong.

          Peppermint Bay's Tourist centre and restaurant is also highly regarded and while you're there go down to Grand Vewe for cheese. The Smokehouse on Bruny Island has beautiful produce but may be closed at that time. Bruny Island Cheeses may however be open.

          1. re: stickyfingers

            Thanks, I'll phone ahead for anything that might take us out of our way. Good to know locals tend to eat early.

            Is dinner very different from lunch at Red Velvet? Right now I'm tentatively planning on being in the area on Sunday/Monday but could switch my itinerary around to be there on Friday/Saturday instead. Would that be worth doing?

            Thanks for your other recs.

            1. re: PattyC

              Actually I think it is a good idea because a lot of businesses in the Huon aren't open on Sundays. You may find if there has been a great deal of rain leading up to your trip, the oyster farms will be closed.

              Yes Patty, dinner is different at Red Velvet Lounge. It's more grown up. Take a peek at a menu - it does vary based on seasonality and local producers.

              I also wrote about it on my blog ages ago:

              That was before Australia's Gourmet Traveller magazine discovered him and before he became Australia's Regional Chef of the Year. Each time we've been back it is better and better. Last year we even attended a night devoted to roasted rare breed pigs cooked in his enormous antique wood fired Scotch Oven and served with locally brewed cider. The Huon is famous for its apples in particular.

              Please note that the difference between this kind of venue and Garagistes is that Steve lets the produce speak for itself backed with classical techniques. Garagistes is experimental, hit-&-miss, but exciting for the adventurous eater.

      2. We're back!

        Unfortunately Garagistes was closed but we did have an excellent meal at Ethos and a nice lunch at MONA wine bar. Also had lunch at Fish Frenzy which was OK but we thought the fish and chips we had at Aqua Grill in Franklin earlier in the week were better.

        Enjoyed the cheeses at Grandvewe and Bruny Island Cheese (no bread the day we went) and had some nice Bruny Island oysters. Hotel Bruny is under new ownership since late last year and had an excellent seafood chowder that we had to go back the next day for. Bruny Island Smokehouse and Peppermint Bay were both closed.

        Had a great breakfast at RVL and loved their cakes and pastries but weren't as impressed with dinner. Perhaps I was expecting too much.

        Surprisingly all of the cellar doors we went to (Moorilla, Home Hill, Panorama, Bruny Island Premium Wines) were open.

        Thanks everybody!