Glenarty Road’s rise within the southwest dining ranks has been both swift and well-deserved. Ben and Sasha McDonald built their rustic cellar door and restaurant on the family farm just east of Karridale. The McDonalds have raised livestock here for generations, which in recent times expanded in to growing grapes. Those vines now surround the restaurant, and the sight and sound of lambs create a vista and ambience of country life.
With a custom built woodfired grill, good estate grown wine, lamb and produce, it’s manna for the right chef. The menu delivers on the promise: short, seasonal, and when it’s gone, it’s gone.
Chef Joaquin Diz, who took the reins in July 2019, is sticking to the formula. Get your hands dirty with a simple entrée of his lamb ribs, lightly dressed garden greens and a piquant chimichurri. We recommend the cracking good Blackwood Valley Beef empanadas which have all the warmth and comfort of a country sausage roll with a South American twist.
Larger plates hit the mark for meat or meat-free options. Lamb chops (if you’ve been patting the farm’s tame lambs, the chops might be a little difficult to digest) with roasted pumpkin and a punchy fetta puree suit meat eaters. For the others, charred romanesco, dressed with a smooth almond tahini dressing hits the vego spot with brio.
Glenarty Road’s restaurant is a proper expression of the over-used term paddock-to-plate and a delightful and rare culinary farm experience.