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Kate’s Week In Food: A rave review for a landmark’s new restaurant

ITALIAN FEAST – While I’m on holidays in Italy, you can get a taste of Le Dolce Vita here, at the Melbourne Italian Wine and Food Festival on Sunday 27 May at the Royal Exhibition Building. Feast on pizza, pasta, panini and Italian snacks at pop-up restaurants from Melbourne favourites Bottega, Saluministi, Mister Bianco, Massi, 400 Gradi, and more. There’ll be cooking demonstrations, a marketplace, coffee and Italian wines. Tix are $25, kids enter free – http://www.italianwinefoodfestival.com.au/
GOING WILD – No plans for the Long Weekend yet? Take a walk on the wildside and head to Healesville Sanctuary who are putting on Wine and Wildlife for another year. From 11am – 4pm Friday to Monday of the Queens Bday weekend, there’ll be six event spaces featuring local wines, craft beers, ciders and spirits, as well as warming winter dishes, live music, and of course plenty of local wildlife. An adult ticket will set you back $41, which includes entry to Healesville Sanctuary and a souvenir Wine & Wildlife picnic wine glass which is your ticket to tasting! www.zoo.org.au/wineandwildlife
CRAVING THE COLD – I love that many of our regional destinations aren’t just bracing for winter, they are EMbracing it! Next up is East Gippsland who are holding the Deep Winter Festival from June 29 to July 1. The three-day festival run by local micro-brewery Sailors Grave Brewing and includes free and ticketed events, like a long-table degustation dinner, workshops, a food-and-beer pairing dinner and a Sunday session. www.sailorsgravebrewing.com
LOVING LAURA – I raved to Ross and John about Pt Leo Estate when it opened, their bistro was serving up brilliant seafood in one of Victoria’s most picturesque locations at seriously good value. Well, last week I met Laura – she’s Point Leo Estate’s new fine diner. A glassed-in extension of the existing restaurant, it boasts the same stunning sea views with one of the country’s foremost sculpture collections thrown in, and an ever-changing local, seasonal set menu of four to six courses from executive chef Phil Wood. On the menu? Port Phillip Scallops were served inside a buttery pastry ring as scallop pie; and roast aged Great Ocean Rd duck came with teeny little local Hawkes farm kipfler potatoes, and gorgeous Boneo parsnip. This is a brilliant option for a special occasion lunch or dinner. www.ptleoestate.com.au
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