Geelong & Surf Coast Living Magazine Spring Edition 2013 - New Jack

The Jack Rabbit Vineyard restaurant was closed in May this year and has undergone a massive renovation - essentially a total rebuild (except for the chimney) - and will reopen on the first weekend of November, Melbourne Cup weekend.

The new Jack Rabbit venue will seat 120 inside and a further 90 patrons on the spectacular new deck. Being one of the highest vantage points on the Bellarine Peninsula, the views are spectacular spanning across the vineyard, the bay to Melbourne, You Yangs, Geelong and beyond.

Thought has been given to capturing every possible aspect of the unrivalled vistas - even the bathrooms have great
panoramic outlooks (in fact, a last minute addition to the construction will be diagonal slats on the outside of the bathroom windows so people coming up the drive are spared from the view of the men's urinals in use).

Excitement levels are building amidst the Jack Rabbit team as the count-down to re-opening rapidly approaches.

None of us can wait to open the Jack Rabbit Restaurant doors once again and welcome patrons to our new and very special place. Everyone has worked really hard to see this come to fruition, it's been monumental team effort.

The combination of Centrum Architects and David McDonald builders has been amazing. We are all really grateful for their creativity and skill which will see the restaurant open on time and on budget.

Probably the best way to describe the design of the restaurant is contemporary retro fusion. Our very own project manager, Mullens, has also been Incredible in keeping everything tapping along from start to finish and cannot be thanked enough.

A definitive 60s Influence stands it ground alongside massive sheaths of rusted metal and grand wooden pylons. The interior of the restaurant features a slatted wave ceiling and 57 hanging (showing my age very Sonny & Cher, but so cool) lights in dining area alone. Lots and lots of glass too. This is definitely a room with a view.

Side, French provincial chairs and white linen table clothes will abound to evoke an ambience of understated elegance. The outside deck tables have been crafted from recycled floorboards imported from Indonesia and 'charcoaled' bentwood-style metal chairs - the combination of which exudes both industrial chic and timeless

Executive Chef David Hall and Head Chef Paul Andrews have been in heaven - busy experimenting and creating a brilliant restaurant menu which will showcase both outstanding culinary skills as well as vast local bounty of primary produce.

David Hall's signature is contemporary Australian and he has been the driving force behind the seasonally based, Jack Rabbit Vineyard menus since inception.

Paul Andrew's specialty is Mediterranean, with a passion for seafood and pork and how their flavours fuse with fruit. Another penchant of Paul's is molecular gastronomy, working with different textures and the technique of integrating this into 'old style food'.

The Jack Rabbit stable of wines is also the hero here. Winemaker Nyall Condon has crafted a diverse range of sophisticated cool climate wines, predominantly handpicked and 'Bellarine-centric', many of which boast an array of awards. Condon has been nominated for the second year in a row in the Australia and New Zealand 'Young Winemaker of the Year' Awards.

Last year, he was a Top Ten finalist in this prestigious annual event. The Jack Rabbit wine range includes sparkling blanc de blanc, moscato, pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc, riesling, chardonnay, rose, pinot noir, shiraz and cabernet shiraz.

If you haven't yet heard of Jack Rabbit Vineyard, stay tuned. This place is already a winner and once the spectacular new restaurant opens, it really is set to fire on all cylinders and do Geelong and The Bellarine proud.

Jack Rabbit Vineyard is open 7 days a week for lunch and guided tastings as well as dinner on Friday and Saturday nights. If you enjoy a poaching with panoramic panache, the House of Jack Rabbit is also open for breakfast on weekends as well as more casual, cafe style lunches seven days a week.

Jack Rabbit Vineyard
85 McAdams Road, Bellarine

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