Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Botanica Formerly The Rustic Olive (Mildura) 04/2017

Formerly called The Rustic Olive 
this restaurant was taken over by new management; Chef Dag Demarkow and his wife, Michelle, managing at the front of the house. Looking at past reviews it might be a hard act to follow.
I felt very comfortable when I walked into this large multi-columned room with it's well spaced tables.

pleasant lighting and fans spinning from the ceiling.
Seating is very comfortable too, chairs have padded seats and high padded backs.
The red carpet is a bit tired but still adds to the atmosphere.
Paper covered white clothed tables are good size.
I started with an entree of mussels in a tomato sauce with chorizo and basil served up in a Belgian mussel pot.

This was an excellent dish. The sauce was well seasoned, the chorizo not too spicy and the mussels plump. The ingredients melded well. The grilled bread perfect to mop up the last of the sauce. The only downside was that four of the fourteen mussels had not opened and it was a struggle to find some way to get the mussels out of their shells,
My main course was locally farmed Murray cod. A very fine fish.
Served on a bed of perfectly cooked asparagus With little towers of slices of potato, roasted tomato and a delicious lemon butter sauce. Every element was excellent although I felt the tomato had been roasted until it was too dry and hard. Still an excellent dish.
They have a small wine list, most bottles about $36 and by the glass about $8. I had a glass of Cab/sav which was served in an unusually coarse glass, not a pleasure to drink from! 
Service was friendly, well timed and really tried to please. 
This is the new kid on the block. The menu is not the same as The Rustic Olive and there's nothing rustic about it. For my money (it came to $65), after Stefano's which is an entirely different sort of place, it's the best a la carte restaurant in Mildura.
Score: 15/20

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