, , , , ,

When the weather changes, and there’s a chill in the air, we crave warm comfort food and that’s when menus change.

I went along on a progressive dinner to three locations to sample some of their new winter menu items.

We met at The Colonist on The Parade, Norwood, to begin the progressive dinner with entrees.

First up, pan-fried scallops with a mint pea purée, sprouts and jamon crumb served with La Prova Prosecco. The scallops were caramelized and the mint puree was creamy with a well-balanced mint flavor and the jamon crumb adding texture.

This was followed by confit pulled pork belly in an open crisp wonton shell with a chilli soy & sesame dressing finished with crispy shallots and peanuts served with 4 Pines extra special bitter English Ale. The shell was light and crispy and the pork and slaw was well balanced. The syringe with the dressing added a bit of theatre to the dish.

Wild caught rabbit slow braised with smoky Hahndorf bacon in a white wine, cream sauce & aromatics with ribbons of pappardelle served with Dexter Pinot Noir. This was my favourite dish and I wanted more! The pasta was al dente with an excellent ragu. The sauce was creamy and the rabbit so tender. I look forward to eating this again.

We all jumped onto a bus and onto our next destination – The Mile End.

At The Mile End we began our main courses with a Sloe Down – Amaretto and sloe gin with orange segments. Tangy and not too sweet.

We then had a tasting plate of three main courses.

Atlantic Salmon nicoise pan fried, finger potatoes, goji berry & macadamia purée, green beans, steamed eggs, dehydrated olives & heirloom tomatoes served with Mere-Et-Fils Chardonnay from the Adelaide Hills. This was a lovely light dish and everything complemented each other on the plate.

SA lamb backstrap, oven baked ratatouille, raisins & quinoa, black olive oil, Dutch carrots, sauce verde served with 2015 Purple Hands old vine Grenache from the Barossa Valley. The backstrap was pink and so tender. And I loved the raisins and quinoa as they added a nutty sweetness to the dish.

Carbonnade (meaning cooked in beer) of beef, dark beer braised beef cheek, potato mash, fava beans, Dutch carrots & jus served with Prancing Pony Amber Ale from the Adelaide Hills. This was my favourite dish as the beef just melted on your mouth.

We then hoped back onto the bus for our final destination, and dessert!

At The Unley we enjoyed cocktails and dessert, and what says winter more than pudding! Once again we enjoyed a tasting plate of three desserts.

Flourless chocolate torte with whipped chocolate fudge and drunken strawberry coulis. This was light and rich and my favourite dessert.

Winter Nelis pear tarte tan with vanilla bean ice cream had a crispy pastry with well caramelized pear. A lighter dessert but still full of flavour and comforting.

Sticky fig pudding with a white chocolate caramel sauce, was fluffy with a strong ginger and cinnamon flavor. And there sauce was spot on!

And the cocktails:

Pomegranate + vanilla mojito – their take on the classic; white rum, mint, soda mixed with house made vanilla + pomegranate syrup.

Fig old fashioned. Makers mark bourdon + sugar + Black fig bitters.

The Unley G + T. – smashed Strawberries mixed with Gin, sloe gin, strawberry syrup + tonic.

It was a fabulous progressive dinner with three warm locations and comfort food that will certainly get us through the cold months ahead!

**I was an invited guest.