Plenty of restaurants transport you to Italy metaphorically. La Bonta goes one further and does it literally. Owners Tim and Janet Austin take a group of customers on tour to a particular Italian region every year, including cooking classes and winery visits.
This might be too much for the average customer. But isn’t it comforting to know the Austins are so dedicated to the boot-shaped country?
Evidence of these regional adventures is scattered throughout the menu, which draws on northern towns and southern coasts alike. The flavours and techniques are true to each region, with a sharp approach to presentation. Expect plenty of risottos, gnocchis and other pastas.
Tim is the restaurant’s head chef and sommelier. His wine list champions vineyards within a 45-minute radius, located mainly in Heathcote and the Macedon Ranges. There’s also an impressive Italian wine list, which is justifiable given that Melbourne Airport is about 45 minutes away.
And what goes particularly well with wine? Cheese. The menu contains four different cow and buffalo milk mozzarellas served with capsicum, prosciutto and other sides.
The restaurant itself has an old-world sense of charm. The carpet is plush under foot, the tablecloths are white and the staff is attentive and well presented.
Explore Kyneton further using our detailed Out of Town to Kyneton guide.