Last Friday night, a group of wine fatalists took a trip to the top of Black Mountain, to dine at the Alto restaurant. The fare here is a touch sophisticated, and we all were to some degree salivating at the menu options available.
Welcoming us as the lift doors opened, we were greeted at a small desk and quickly whisked away to our table.
The restaurant revolves, ensuring an equal share in the rich views of the Canberra countryside as well as the city lights and sights.
After ordering entree and main dishes, some of our party adjourned to the observation deck to take photos of Canberra and the surrounding countryside. The view from Black Mountain has not diminished in recent years, in fact Canberra has begun the slow journey of growing around the mountain. The first new estates are being built in the Molonglo region to the south west and development continues in the far north in Gungahlin.
When we returned to the table, our entrees arrived. To compliment a varied mixture of entree selections (cheese & zucchini soufflé, quail and pear) and to introduce some of our party (visiting from Canada) to a noble white wine we’ve perfected; I chose a Hunter Valley Semillon by Meerea Park called “Terracotta” (2006). The zest and citrus flavours really accentuated (in my case) the incredibly tasty soufflé.
After the entrees were cleared, we retired once again to the observation deck to snap photos of the city as the city lights started twinkling below us. We were also entertained by a squadron of fighter jets who were practicing aerial stunts over near the Brindabella mountains.
Returning to the table, we were met with our main meal selections. Again, the table chose an interesting mix of meat – Kangaroo, beef and lamb. For the accompaniment, and owing to some degree to the tastes and palates amongst our group; I selected a bottle of McWilliams “1877” Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz (2004) from the Hilltops region of New South Wales.
The wine and meals complemented each other very well, especially with the beef (perfectly cooked) as the juice of the meat activated deeper flavours within the peppery red, unlocking aspects of the Shiraz which fought bravely against the refined and structured cabernet/sauvignon blend.
For dessert, there was a mixture of tart, chocolate pot and cheeses – no wine accompaniment owing to time, and cost!
In summary… Alto is a very wine restaurant with perfect location, impeccable service plus; and offering unparalleled views across the Canberra region. The wine list is well appointed and provides a number of options from the discerning wine enthusiast to the casual wine spectator and casual diner. Recommended.
2-Course Meal: $65
3-Course Meal: $75
5-Course Degustation: $105/$155 with wine pairing
2006 Meerea Park “Terracotta” Semillon – Hunter Valley (NSW)
2004 McWilliams “1877” Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon – Hilltops Region (NSW)