A pretty good birthday lunch at Stillwater at Crittenden

It was Di’s 70th birthday and we booked at Stillwater for Nick, Susie and Matilda, Simon and Winton and Pat.

The good bits: this restaurant is extremely family friendly, tolerant of young children moving about the dining room and with a large area outside where they can play. 

It is a wonderful location. The view towards the lake is beautiful. There are also units overlooking the lake on the property which can be rented. It would be an excellent place as a base for touring the Peninsula.

The deal is 2 courses for $65 or 3 courses for $80 

The food is pretty good and excellently presented.

Twice cooked pork belly, fennel & apple salad, romesco sauce, chorizo crumbs & green chilli oil, 

Slow cooked lamb shoulder, garlic puree, peas, broad beans, labna, toasted grains 

Market fish 

Hand cut potato chips, rosemary salt & aioli (2x)

Char-grilled asparagus & broccolini with lemon oil & smoked paprika almonds (2x)

A platter of 4 types of cheese to share for $48 

Housemade ice creams & sorbet 

And two kids’ menus of fish and chips which the two children didn’t like and consequently didn’t eat

We also had half dozen beers

Stillwater ’17 Nero d’alvola Pinot Noir – Mornington Peninsula which was great and a real bargain at $42

A bottle of champagne which was very pleasant.

Two glasses of Foxey’s Hangout ’17 Pinot Gris Late Harvest nothing to write home about

You would have to say we ate well. The bill was $740 which works out at about $120 a head for the adults and about $20 for the kids is probably that on the pricey side for six adults and two kids.

The service is friendly but unbelievably slow. We waited over an hour for our first courses to arrive and even longer for the main courses. One of the kid’s meals arrived at the beginning of meal and the other arrived after main courses. The order was forgotten. It’s not encouraging when you see your wait staff sitting outside chatting with her friends while a frustrated five-year-old wants to know why he hasn’t got his fish and chips. 

Overall, It was a wonderful afternoon, the food is pretty good if not outstanding, the local wines are extremely reasonably priced and it is great place for small kids. It’s a pretty good package.

However, If I were looking for a wonderful eating experience for visitors on the Peninsula, I probably wouldn’t choose Stillwater ahead of Paringa Estate. 

That being said, many of the Vineyard restaurants on the Peninsula are now horrendously expensive with a fixed price Seasonal tasting menu costing $195 per person at Ten Minutes by Tractor without wine and at Montalto A Taste of Our Estate costs $160 and with paired wine $250.

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