Stand by, Mornington Peninsula. The Yarra Valley is stirring.
After six years as co-owner of modern European bistro Bishop Sessa in Sydney, chef Paul Cooper felt the tug of home. Returning to Victoria with his young family, he took over Bianchet Bistro and Winery, on the Yarra's edge, in late December.
He's spruced up the rundown venue top to bottom, replacing kitchen equipment and furniture and even making some tables himself from recycled timber. The first plants have gone into the vegie garden, with plans for future expansion.
He's running two businesses in the space – Bianchet Bistro and Winery and finer diner Fable Dining Room.
The bistro, complete with a family-friendly grass area outside, serves pizza pulled from the refurbished wood oven – he's spinning four bianco and four rosso varieties. A crowd-pleasing caesar salad with wood-roasted king prawns is also on the carte.
But it's the 30-seat degustation-focused Fable Dining Room that Cooper is most excited about. He plans to send out eight courses, each inspired by a story told at the table, so it's as much an experience as a meal.
The drinks list showcases mostly boutique Yarra Valley wines.
Open Thu-Sun lunch and dinner.