Bells at Killcare to reboot as The Wildflower Bar and Dining

The view from verandah at Bells at Killcare.
The view from verandah at Bells at Killcare. Photo: Marco Del Grande

With summer just a tick away, there are big changes on the way at Bells at Killcare, with a restaurant name change, a design overhaul and an incoming celebrity chef on the way. 

The central coast hotel and restaurant has quietly signed former Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide chef of the year, Sean Connolly, to reboot the restaurant. It will be renamed The Wildflower Bar and Dining.

Bells has faded a little from the dining radar in recent years, with chef Stefano Manfredi finishing his nine-year association with the property in 2017.

Sean Connolly in the kitchen at Bells at Killcare.
Sean Connolly in the kitchen at Bells at Killcare. Photo: Jacs Powell

When Wildflower fires up over the next couple of weeks, it'll retain its modern Italian fix while topping up on some broader Mediterranean dishes.

A spokeswoman for Bells, which is owned by Karina and Brian Barry, says the brief is to retain Bells' reputation for elegance, but also capture locals with "casual-classy" dining.

Connolly will still bring a little old-fashioned luxe to proceedings.

Pan-roasted Hawkesbury calamari stuffed with prawns, served with polenta and parsley sauce.
Pan-roasted Hawkesbury calamari stuffed with prawns, served with polenta and parsley sauce.  Photo: Marco Del Grande

"We'll do some tableside dining. Trolleys with salads, tartare, pavlova. There will also be a focus on local seafood. Not something that came from Newcastle – I mean really local."