Casual fine dining meets country cottage charm in Lovedale
Hands up who like trying new restaurants? We’ve got a new one to get super excited about. It’s Restaurant Trey located at the charming Emma’s Cottage Vineyard. The latest offering from Head Chef and owner Bryce Reynolds, Restaurant Trey is Lovedale’s newest home of fine dining, in a relaxed country setting.
Heralding from the Central Coast, Bryce got his start at the tender age of 11, getting a job washing dishes at his local Italian restaurant to help out his single Mum.
"I always like cooking as a kid and seeing the Chef’s do flambés at the restaurant was pretty awesome. They were like rock stars. I was hooked."
A local of the Abernathy/Rothbury area for around 15 years now, you might be surprised to learn that Bryce’s probably cooked or served you a meal before.
Bryce started his apprenticeship at EXP, working there for two-years before moving to the kitchen at Amanda’s on the Edge, where he’d previously worked front of house. After gaining his formal qualifications, Bryce was lured into a Head Chef role at popular Maitland restaurant, Coquun.
Keen to own a place of his own, Bryce bought the Simply D’Vine Café at Nulkaba nursery, now managed by his partner Suzi, before an opportunity arose to open a restaurant at Emma’s Cottage Vineyard in Lovedale.
Yep, Bryce’s worked with some of the best and it certainly shows in the presentation and quality of food he puts on the table. Case in point are the complimentary petit fours he brings out to start or, as I prefer to call them, flavour bombs.
These tasty little goats’ cheese and jam tarts topped with beetroot and raspberry are sinfully good.
Bryce actually makes the jam for these from scratch as well as other condiments and as you’d come to expect from someone with his training, has a ‘fresh is best’ philosophy, working with local Lovedale producers and on occasion, foraging his own mushrooms and the like from secret Hunter Valley locales. His homemade bread (and butter) is also complimentary and a lovely start to the meal too.
Next on the menu are pan-seared scallops with a cauliflower puree, followed by crispy skin chicken that’s been lightly cloche-smoked with apple. It sounds fancy and like the scallops, tastes divine.
Delicious food aside, there’s a lot to love about Restaurant Trey. The scenery is gorgeous and the service is personable but not obtrusive. Bryce explains.
"I always try get out of the kitchen and serve up one of the courses to guests. It’s nice to see what they liked and get their feedback."
Bryce is passionate about ensuring a high-quality dining experience too. “I don’t want to have massive lunch and dinner services. I’d much prefer guests to have to book ahead so that we can give them the same level of service and quality food every time they visit.”
Depending on what you’re up for, there’re a few dining experiences at Restaurant Trey you can try. Bryce has a two and three course a-la-carte menu and is also offering a five-course degustation.
Whatever way you go, a must order is Bryce’s signature dessert - Crème Brulee vs Crème Caramel. It’s something of a family favourite I’m told and you can see (and taste) why.
Restaurant Trey is open Wednesday to Sunday for lunch with dinner services on Friday and Saturday evenings. Make sure you book a seat a Bryce’s table soon. You’ll thank us for it.