Casual yet refined dining with Mediterranean flair
In the heart of wine country in Pokolbin is a restaurant that’s been a local favourite since it opened in late 2018.
Baumé, named for the method of measuring the sugar content in wine grapes, has become much-loved in the Hunter for good reason.
A family-friendly atmosphere, an extensive menu of Mediterranean-inspired dishes, and a spacious, sunlit deck all make Baumé an ideal meeting place for family and friends.
According to Baumé Operations Manager Joe Spagnolo, providing a space for locals to get together and enjoy a meal has always been the aim of Baumé.
“It is a more approachable option for people here. There’s some great fine dining options, but if you want something between that and a pub, where do you go? That’s the gap we’re filling,” he said.
The restaurant has become so well-loved, that changes to the menu have incited strong reactions among loyal customers. Joe says he’s tried to take the oven roasted tomato Arancini (complete with basil aioli) off the menu, but his repeat customers have implored him to keep them on. And, when people are coming all the way from Muswellbrook for the Sizzling Garlic King Prawns, you have to keep them around!
Joe still ensures that the menu at Baumé rotates some dishes seasonally, but he knows the value in having a reliable food offering.
“It’s all about consistency, and we’re so consistent. People can recommend Baumé to someone and they know that they’re going to have a good meal.”
The menu is all about hearty portions of “European favourites” as Joe calls them, influenced by the flavours of the Mediterranean, predominantly Italy. With flatbreads, small plates, salads, pastas, pizzas, mains designed for sharing with the whole table, sides, and an extensive dessert selection, there’s something for everyone on the menu.
The Italian-style lamb shoulder, braised for 6 hours and served with rosemary and red wine jus is a firm favourite, as is the linguine with king prawns, cherry tomatoes, basil, fennel and cream sauce. Don’t miss the Manhattan Baked Cheesecake or Italian Bread & Butter Pudding or dessert, made in-house by pastry chef Steven Bampton.
For a family-friendly restaurant, a kids menu is notably absent, but Joe says there’s no need to have one at Baumé. When pizza is on the cards, it makes sense!
Given that Baumé shares a building with Ben Ean, it also makes sense that wine is integral to the drinks offered at Baumé. You can find many of the wines up for tasting at the Ben Ean cellar door featured on Baumé’s wine list, plus Petersons reserve wines from Colin Peterson’s own cellar, if you’re after something really special.
Pair a quality wine with a feast by Baumé, and you’ve got yourself a delicious meal out in the Hunter Valley.