86 Ford Street Beechworth, Victoria 3747
|Opening hours||Fri-Mon 5.30pm-8.30pm|
|Features||Accepts bookings, Accommodation, Degustation, Gluten-free options, Licensed, Open fire, Romance-first date, Vegetarian friendly|
|Prices||Expensive (mains over $40)|
|Payments||eftpos, AMEX, Visa, Mastercard|
|Phone||03 5728 1786|
Someone should nab Michael Ryan, throw him and his wine-savvy wife in a bag, and smuggle them to town - because Ryan's food, quite simply, rocks. The gorgeous north-east certainly deserves a restaurant of this calibre. Degustation or a la carte, beautifully balanced dishes show rare mastery of flavour. Perhaps it comes from Ryan's chemistry backgroud, or his adoring immersion in things Japanese, or perhaps just because he's very, very good. Chestnut fettuccine tossed through burnt butter with local hazelnuts and crisp sage; snapper marinated in sake lees, with steamed clams and house-made udon noodles in snapper dashi; crisp-fried smoked potatoes with chilli and Kewpie mayo. 'You have to like licorice, ' says the quietly professional waitress of the dauntingly grey semifreddo - like a gorgeous licorice allsort Mother Nature might make, with rhubarb and fennel. In an old bank, Provenance has style, not glamour, but it's home to some of Victoria's best eating and drinking.