Lunch daily noon-3pm
Dinner Fri-Sat 6pm-9.30pm
A lamington dessert captures the best of the unpretentious yet intelligent Elbow Room: a cube of dense chocolate mousse presented under a drift of desiccated coconut: confident and creative. As first stop along McLaren Vale's main drag, and neighbour to the visitors' centre, this heritage stone cottage is appended to a roomy dining space. Its French doors open to gully breezes and vine rows, presenting a rural vernacular that attracts family groups, locals and wine-touring couples. An entrée of three hefty Spencer Gulf prawns in a garish saffron aïoli is matched in generosity by a main course of beef short ribs, charred and sticky in a spicy, velveteen sauce. Tortellini are subtler, with lemon-laced ricotta and fresh vegetables from chef Nigel Rich's garden. Wines are locally biased (why not?), as are the young floor staff. Conversation and a Chet Faker soundtrack fill the room as tables hum with the energy of an upbeat lunchtime crowd.
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