The Greenhouse ‘Tees Off’
As published in the Newcastle Herald, Wednesday 1st June, by Lisa Rockman
MEDOWIE doesn’t spring to mind as a dining destination. The Greenhouse Eatery at Pacific Dunes, however, is hoping to put it on the map.
Golfers might be familiar with the 18-hole course at residential estate Pacific Dunes. The Greenhouse opened two months ago on the edge of the green. Head chef Sheldon Black runs the kitchen and created the venue’s versatile menu.
Black comes from a family of hospitality providers – his parents used to own and operate St Mary Lodge and Resort, situated near Glacier National Park in Montana. He was lured to Australia by its wine industry, working at Arrowfield Estate in the Hunter Valley before establishing himself as a chef while working at Merewether Surf House, Shoal Bay Country Club, Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club and Grille 32.
Black describes food as a “celebration of flavour and freshness” and designs menus in accordance with the seasons. He prefers to use fresh, home-grown and local produce, and is in the fledgling stages of setting up a kitchen garden on site.
Seafood and produce is sourced by The Greenhouse from local, sustainable producers. The kitchen uses free-range eggs, and beef not sourced from cattle grazed on the nearby Nelson Plains is purchased from Medowie Meats. A large selection of pastries, sweets and sauces are made on-site daily. As for the bacon, it comes from Black Forest Smoke House in Marrickville.
“If we can’t pull it from the dirt ourselves, we source it as close to home as possible,” food and beverage manager Elizabeth Blyth said.
The goal was, she said, to attract Port Stephens locals – as well as Pacific Dunes residents and golf members – to The Greenhouse.
“Our indoor and outdoor dining spaces, complemented by modern decor and a sandstone fireplace, provides the ideal destination for groups of all sizes and ages,” she explained.
“The response has been exceptional. The Greenhouse is becoming a destination in itself and a social hub, especially on Sundays when we have live music.”
When Food & Wine visited, the bar area was bustling and the dining area was flooded with sunshine through ceiling-to-floor glass sliding doors overlooking the green. To the rear of the venue is an in-ground swimming pool and outdoor seating, a tennis court and a large, level grassed area for children to run around on.
You don’t have to play golf to appreciate the grassy surrounds.
Happy Hour is from 5pm to 6pm every day, and daily specials are offered in addition to the standard breakfast, lunch, dinner and bar menus. A weekly $15 Burger & Beer menu is being launched on June 1.