Elwood Bathers feels a bit like a holiday home. You could spend all day here – start with an omelette and a cup of coffee on the terrace, then maybe – after a stroll by the beach – charcuterie, board games and a mid-afternoon gin and tonic. As the sky turns orange-pink; flathead and chips, and a bottle of something cold and white from the Victorian-heavy wine list.
Floor-to-ceiling windows frame the seaside scene, and work with clean white walls and plenty of timber furniture to create an easy-going, beach-house aesthetic that keeps the spotlight squarely on the remarkable view.
On the menu you’ll find pan-seared John Dory with a delicate swirl of celeriac puree, baby capers and kale; a pork cutlet with Dijon vinaigrette, potato, and apple and fennel slaw; and a grass-fed O’Connor steak from Gippsland with potato fondant and watercress.
House-cured Atlantic salmon is peppered with salty salmon roe, capers, creme fraiche and tiny slices of cucumber and celeriac. Silky scallops and crunchy rice-paper crisps are brightened by a bitter-sour mix of green chili and lime rind.
The wine list celebrates local drops (plus a few other Aussies, some New Zealanders and a couple of internationals), fresh juices and smoothies, and Mountain Goat and Peroni on tap. The cocktail list is short and free of surprises (spritz, Negroni, Margarita), some you can order by the one-litre carafe for $38. Desserts are crowd-pleasers too (panna cotta, tiramisu).