Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Champagne Style, Beer Budget; Ann Rickard Tries the Degustation Dinner at Berardo's

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Champagne Style, Beer Budget; Ann Rickard Tries the Degustation Dinner at Berardo's

Article excerpt

MANY regard berardo's restaurant & bar in Noosa as a place for special occasions and although the restaurant is all-white elegance and style and the service is pampering to the extreme, berardo's is for all budgets and palates.

The degustation menu ($95) is excellent value for the number of courses and the extraordinary amount of work that goes into each dish.

On the other end of the scale, the locals' special at $39 for two courses, $49 for three, with a glass of wine, is given the same precise and dedicated approach to produce and presentation as the multi-course menu.

The a la carte menu also offers appropriate value with main courses averaging $37 and a wine list that covers all budgets. (Okay, if you're a big spender you can really go to town with a bottle of Krug at around $1000, but there are a good number of wines by the glass at $9.)

"There is a misconception that berardo's is a special occasion restaurant," executive chef Tim Montgomery said.

"It is very accessible and the locals' menu is a good way for people to be introduced to berardo's."

Since he took up the position three months ago, Tim has embraced Noosa, the restaurant and the local produce.

"I go to the farmer's markets, meet the producers and cheese makers," he said.

"The produce here is phenomenal.

"The Noosa spanner crab is an iconic product. It has been a bit of a linchpin that hasn't changed on the berardo's menu. I put it with a celeriac remoulade for a classical French approach but use locally grown leaves and flowers to decorate it."

Tim has a degree in visual arts (gained in a former life before he realised his true talent) and his food presentation is picturesque.

His use of organic flowers and petals elevates each dish to a culinary work of art.

Duck breast, from Dutton Park, looks as pretty as a picture when presented in a neat square on flaked almonds with half a grilled peach and a restrained touch of fresh leaves. …

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