Australian Traveller - - The 100 -

Hid­ing in plain sight on the ‘other side’ of the Morn­ing­ton Penin­sula is a col­lec­tion of small towns where a clutch of new open­ings are redefin­ing the food and drink of­fer­ing in these parts. One such place is Mer­ricks, just out­side of which sits the star­tlingly mod­ern black form of the Jack­a­lope Ho­tel. Spread­ing out across a still-func­tion­ing vine­yard, the ho­tel it­self is a riot of sleek pur­pose and mod­ern de­sign, while the restau­rants at­tached – the hat­ted Doot Doot Doot, with its ar­rest­ing ceil­ing of metal­lic light­bulbs and sea­sonal five-course tast­ing menu, and the re­laxed com­mu­nal din­ing space of Rare Hare, serv­ing up hearty roasts and ex­pan­sive views of the sur­round­ing coun­try­side – are ar­guably the stars of the show. Come by car and you will have the means to scoot down the road to Pt. Leo Es­tate to try the beet­root pan­cakes con­jured up by ex­ec­u­tive chef Phil Wood at Pt. Leo Restau­rant, and take home a few bot­tles of the wine pro­duced here.

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