Last week we brought you the news of Fleet, a trailblazing new wine bar bringing fresh flavours to Brunswick Heads. This week, it's even more big news in the Northern Rivers of New South Wales as we turn our attention to Ewingsdale where the Three Blue Ducks crew have opened their second outpost. The 90-seat restaurant and produce store is part of The Farm - a 32-hectare property with a focus on sustainable-farming practices, designed to "grow, feed and educate" the community.
The dining room proper (which operates on a "no frills, no tablecloths" policy) serves what Three Blue Ducks chef and co-owner Darren Robertson and his business partner Mark LaBrooy call casual, nutritious, tasty food, while the store offers takeaway meals, coffee and organic groceries.
"At the moment we're starting off with everything as local as possible," Robertson says. "We're doing the whole Alice Waters thing, so we're letting the famers and gardeners determine what we've got on the menu."
This translates to a menu abundant in "leafy greens, pigs and beef from The Farm itself, a little bit of chicken and amazing seafood". Début dishes include raw amberjack with pickled lettuce and whipped roe, and char-grilled octopus with guanciale and a salad of pink grapefruit, mixed grains, and torn mint.
"We've got a meat room, so we're buying in cows on the quarter and whole pigs," Roberston says. A barbecue zone is currently in the works with spits for whole animals, an Argentine-style grill, an outdoor wood-fired pizza oven and a hot smoker.
There's a bar, too - a "bloody huge bar", to be exact - offering all its booze on tap to reduce waste. "We have, at the moment, 10 reds, 10 whites, and about 15 craft beers, and a couple of ciders," says Robertson. "All the alcohol comes in kegs and we're also making our own kombucha."
All up, it sounds like a whole lot of planet-friendly fun, and if it's anything like the Bronte flagship, we're sure it'll be a hit.
Three Blue Ducks, The Farm, 11 Ewingsdale Rd, Ewingsdale, NSW, (02) 9389 0010