As a region, the Hunter is a culinary destination like no other and features a diverse and abundant dining experience ranging from charming cafes to hatted restaurants, which proudly showcase the regions passionate and talented chefs, regionally sourced produce and award-winning wines.
The Hunter’s reputation as a wine region is unquestionable, but it’s also home to some of the most creative chefs and edgy restaurants and cafes, making their presence felt on the regional culinary stage.
A local chef that has been kicking goals since he opened his first restaurant in the Hunter 12 years ago is Matt Dillow.
The father of two has earned a reputation, not only as a cooking maestro but as a savvy business operator who over the past 12 years has had no less than three highly regarded dining venues under his belt which were very popular amongst local, interstate and international visitors.
Having sold two of the restaurants (The Verandah and Twine), Matt has retained the Deck Café at Gartelmann Wines in Lovedale and continues to host his popular food, wine and produce tours to Tasmania, New Zealand and Tuscany each year.
Aptly named, The Deck Café is a stylish restaurant-style cafe, in a beautiful setting - complete with a large elevated deck overlooking a picturesque dam. The perfect place to start the day, have a break from a morning of wine tasting or to chill out with family and friends.
Think breakfasts with house-made fluffy pancakes with a choice of toppings that include caramelised banana, passionfruit butter and fresh strawberries or Belgium chocolate hazelnut sauce and vanilla ice cream; ham and Persian feta and asparagus omelette with semi-dried tomato tapenade and sourdough; eggs benedict with herb-roasted field mushrooms or beetroot and gin cured salmon gravlax and one of Matt’s favourites - grilled sourdough, smashed avocado, roasted wild mushrooms, grilled halloumi and heirloom pesto tomatoes.
The lunch menu is just as delicious and includes The Deck's mezze plate(s), a choice charcuterie plates, wood roast salmon, beer-battered snapper with potato chips, braised lamb shoulder, Spanish pulled pork and bean cassoulet pie, house-made beef lasagne, a range of salads and a selection of delicious The Deck Burgers. Top it all off with a glass of Gartelmann wine or a Piazza Dora coffee.
The Deck Café is open seven days for Breakfast and Lunch. For more information visit www.deckcafelovedale.com.au