So is it true, behind every great man, is an even greater lady?
Scott Pickett may be the quintessential Aussie male and super talent behind his popular Victorian hospitality ventures but what’s impressive is how much tribute he pays to the women in his life. His first establishment Estelle pays homage to his lovely wife. Matilda the fine dining restaurant on domain road is named after his daughter. Most recently, he opened a sophisticated eatery in Sorrento to honour the matriarch of their family his graceful mother Audrey.
Despite it being brand new, Audrey’s is timeless. Situated on the second level of the boisterous fun loving pub the Conti, it’s a totally different vibe to its downstairs sister. Large open glass windows with draping curtains have stunning views of the nearby coastal blue ocean, make you feel like you’re sitting in a postcard.
Sea green marble bench tops and Luxe velvet banquettes are so cosily comfy, that what may start as a long lunch, could possibly end up trickling into dinner.
Service is still a tad on the casually jovial side. When the waitstaff gloats about her weekend festivities at late night a music festival, it’s not really in theme, but given the glowing surrounds, after a glass of champagne, it becomes less so.
Adding to the sea shore location, the frequently changing set menu remains sea focused. After a round of oysters is a combination of high tea items which may include a bite size fluffy crumpet topped with whipped cod roe, and a dainty tartlet of cured trout topped with pretty edible flowers. If you never thought asparagus could wow you, you need to try this. Two long green fingers charred on the Josper grill with a salty duck ham and balanced with a creamy emulsion.
Then the garfish. This sharpened pencil long pointy nosed creature arrives at your table, full head, beast eyes, bathing in its creamy glory. It’s the type of dish you want to surreptitiously snap a picture of, frame and hang up in a beach house. Desserts are poised, light and refreshing. Audreys vacherin (a disc of crisp meringue topped with a rich textured cream and a dollop of refreshing citrus sorbet ) demonstrate even further how classy and eloquent this Matriarch was (she also has a cheeky side, when you’re encouraged to order a round of margaritas to end the decadence).
It’s a grand experience you consciously file in the long term memory bank and savour for a special flashback occasion.
Bottom line: Scott Pickett may be the man of his house, but it’s the ladies in the family who steal the show.
1 Ocean Beach Road, Sorrento VIC 3943
Image credits: Alex Squadrito