PROFILE BY BEST RESTAURANTS
A little taste of Spain, in the humble suburb of Albert Park. Rhone Wine and Tapas boasts a warm and inviting atmosphere –decorated in shades of greys and reds with large lamps hanging overhead. Specials are rustically written on a chalkboard, while the outdoor seating and bench-space by the large shopfront windows mean diners will get a great view of both inside and out. The ever-changing Mediterranean menu is inspired by owner and manager Lee Glasgow's travels to Spain, while chef and owner Manuel Villegas, as a native Spaniard, ensures Lee's vision is executed to perfection. With the beach just a short stroll away, Rhone is the perfect destination for small bites in the summertime, while the winter menu will fend off the chilly Melbourne weather.
Get your tastebuds in the Spanish mood with a starter of deep-fried goats cheese. Continue with Galician scallops, sautéed with jamon serrano and leek, presented in their shell with some fresh lime. While many of the menu changes with the seasons, classic Northern Spanish dishes such as the Catalan garlic and chilli prawns, which arrive sizzling and just-cooked in pure Spanish olive oil and the deep fried calamari, a staple from the Chef's hometown in Santander, will never be removed from the menu.
Meatier dishes such as the grilled chorizo and capsicum, served on crunchy bread and a crumbed lamb cutlet with romesco sauce, will ensure you leave satisfied. For something truly Spanish, it is hard to pass up Rhone's paella. With several paella variations, the team at Rhone aim to please every taste or preference. Desserts here are classics; Spanish flan are churros are always a favourite with diners, but a cheese and jamon board with the chef's homemade olive and quince paste is not to be missed and also makes a great break between courses. The wine list is more pan-European than the menu, inspired by Lee's travels, with a good mix of Australian, Spanish, French and Italian wines, and a few namesake cotes-du-rhone's, so be sure to ask Lee's advice for wine pairings. Rhone Wine and Tapas Bar is a great diner for couples or small groups looking to sample an ever-evolving taste of Spain.