Red Hill has long been known for its wineries and quality dining options, but there is one restaurant, Tedesca Osteria, which has everyone talking and waiting patiently for a reservation. It seems Gourmet Traveller agrees, recently announcing Tedesca as the recipient of its coveted Restaurant of the Year 2022 award.

Tedesca Osteria is fixed menu dining experience, using produce grown mostly on the property or sourced from local growers.

Food and wine aficionados will be familiar with chef and owner Brigette Hafner and co-owner James Broadway, from their 16 years at the helm of Fitzroy’s iconic Gertrude Street Enoteca. While the closure of the Fitzroy institution was the end of an era, their Red Hill offering is a unique successor, destined for culinary accolades.

The five course, hand-written menu is planned around an impressive wood fired oven and open grill. The ingredients change from week to week, depending on what is available locally and in season, but more often than not, antipasto, fresh pasta and seafood, a meat course and dessert will feature.

The aroma of Vietnamese coffee wafts throughout the restaurant, with bottomless filtered rainwater from the farm adding that special touch.

An eclectic wine list has been cleverly curated by Broadway, “with trends, debates, history, quality and controversy all featuring heavily.”

Local Mornington Peninsula and biodynamic wines are favoured, as well as a carefully considered list from further afield. Cocktails are creatively poured using rainwater and botanicals from the garden. 

Hafner describes Tedesca as her dream.

“A beautiful place to eat and drink. It is about art, wine, music, architecture, stories, theatre, life…joy…the honour and respect for animals, the study and appreciation of nature, the farm.”

Set in a charming weatherboard house on 27 acres overlooking Red Hill’s farm land, the restaurant has been meticulously designed and restored by Brigette’s husband, architect Patrick Ness.

The stand-out feature of the restaurant is undoubtedly the open kitchen – a wood fired brick hearth which sits behind a striking black timber kitchen bench and work station. The ambience is warm, earthy and homely, with an understated opulence. It is a place of happiness and connectedness and you just want to stay.

While Tedesca Osteria has a relaxed charm about it, industry pundits have responded with genuine excitement and enthusiasm.

The Australian’s food writer John Lethlean likened Tedesca to a “European lodge with an Australian accent” and rated it an impressive 4.5/5 stars.

“This model is, for me and possibly you, the perfect manifestation of hospitality: arrive, get looked after, have virtually no decisions to make beyond what wine you can afford. Just go,” said Lethlean.

Similarly, Chef George Calombaris described the atmosphere as a warm and soulful place for food and wine, adding “this is one of the best restaurants in this country right now.”

With reviews like that, and the acclaimed Gourmet Traveller title, it's little wonder Tedesca Osteria is the talk of the Mornington Peninsula, and more broadly, Melbourne. Book now for a weekend lunch Friday to Monday, or dinner Saturday evening (be prepared to plan in advance).

Tedesca Osteria is located at 1175 Mornington Flinders Road, Red Hill.

Images courtesy Tedesca Osteria/James Broadway.

Images courtesy Tedesca Osteria/James Broadway.

Images courtesy Tedesca Osteria/James Broadway.

Images courtesy Tedesca Osteria/James Broadway.

Images courtesy Tedesca Osteria/James Broadway.

Images courtesy Tedesca Osteria/James Broadway.

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