PROFILED BY DE GROOTS MEDIA
Eleonore's is the formal restaurant at Chateau Yering, a marvellous historic house hotel in the Yarra Valley that was built by one of the early families in the area. In the mid-19th century, this place was the social centre of the Yarra Valley. The dining room is grand, the furnishings luxurious, and there is a picturesque view of the wonderful gardens and hills.
The food is unmistakably modern, prepared with imagination and skill. Chef Mathew Macartney has taken over the kitchen, and the result is a small a la carte menu with the option of two degustations, one of which is vegetarian. There's some Asian influence here and there: a Japanese-inspired appetiser of wasabi pannacotta topped with a tiny roll of kingfish and tuna and salmon roe, for example, or a main course of poached red emperor fillets and scallops with a black bean vinaigrette.
Whilst the food is well-presented and innovative, don't come expecting to satiate a ravenous appetite. Portion sizes are petite and prices are quite the opposite. Younger waiters work under the watchful eyes of the experienced older floor staff; and the wine list makes a feature of Yarra Valley wines with a few by the glass as well. Hang the expense and stay the night, with breakfast and lunch in the more casual Sweetwater Cafe.