La Petanque is located on the Mornington Flinders road in Main Ridge and currently holds one hat from The Age Good Food Guide. The staff “are inspired by the South of France using modern techniques, quality locally sourced seasonal produce, and herbs and flowers from the garden”.
J and I did a day trip down to the Mornington Peninsula to check out a Roy Lichtenstein exhibition that was on at the Mornington Regional Gallery. After that we decided that while we were down that way we might as well pop into some of our favourite wineries and stock up on some wine. Driving past La Petanque we thought it would be a good option for lunch.
We were able to get a table in the light airy simple space and immediately started browsing the menu.
We both liked the olive tree bonsai on the table.
Warm balsamic vinegar olives were brought out, as well as bread.
The bread was really good but J noted that he would have liked the option to have butter with it instead of olive oil.
La Petanque offers two course for $69, and three for $87. We decided to do main and dessert.
But first there was an amuse bouche of roasted pumpkin gnocchi with goats cheese and hazelnuts.
A nice mouthful to awaken the palate and prepare us for lunch.
J started with a guinea fowl dish. I didn’t take any photos of the menu as I thought it was online, and it is, but this dish wasn’t listed, so I don’t have the full description.
J liked this dish but didn’t find a couple of small bones in it.
I didn’t feel like having a meat dish so went for the Flinders tomato tart, French goat cheese, green olive tapenade, Devon Meadows greens, parmesan foam, thyme pesto.
How pretty does that look! The goats cheese was served as a round slice on top of the tomatoes and I thought it was going to be too rich, and it almost was. But it worked really well with all the other flavours and everything was balanced. You can’t see them in the photo but there were peas in this dish! I donated them to J.
For dessert I had the Soft centered Guanaja Valrhona chocolate biscuit, almond praline anglaise and Tahiti vanilla bean ice cream. I don’t know why they call it a biscuit. I deduced from the description of ‘soft centered’ and ‘vanilla bean ice cream’ and that it said to allow 20 minutes that this was in fact going to be a chocolate fondant, and it was.
This would be the fourth chocolate pudding or fondant I have had this year and it would be the best out of the lot. Rich but not overly so, especially when mixed with the ice cream. It was the perfect size, enough so I felt satisfied but not too much to feel overdosed or full on chocolate, or unable to finish it (which would be a sin). Everything about this dish was perfect, including the amount of gooiness inside the fondant, it even smelt amazing! (I am now craving chocolate after writing those last few sentences..).
J didn’t really feel like dessert but as it was a two course minimum he chose two cheeses, a Brillat Savarin, Triple cream from Tournan-en-Brie, south east of Paris and a Fleur du Maquis, Corsican sheep milk cheese sprinkled with thyme, rosemary and juniper berries.
He particulary liked the sheep milk cheese with the thyme, rosemary and juniper berries rind, it was something a bit different.
J also had tea, and I admired the teapot.
I thought the staff were all friendly and helpful. The restaurant was around half full and they seemed quite busy, especially as there was a group of 14 in as well, which can often hold things up. The longest wait we had was for my dessert, but that was expected, and also to get someone to process the bill as the waiter on the counter at the time was busy making coffees.