When you walk into The Dispensary Enoteca in the Chancery Laneway in Bendigo, the first thing you may see is a framed image of Bill Murray in a nineteenth century military uniform. The compact dining room is lined with shelves filled with bottles and the atmosphere is cosy. My companion and I immediately felt comfortable with Bill looking over us.
The Dispensary Enoteca opened in 2009 and has evidently survived despite initial skepticism, and I’m glad it has. We enjoyed a delightful lunch with friendly service and excellent food. From the top down: zucchini flower, tomato and goats cheese salad (entree); duck breast with baby leeks, radicchio, orange and pancetta; pork cutlet with pork rillette, poached pear, apple puree, freekeh and porcini jus; and green salad.
The duck / radicchio / pancetta combination was spectacular, and everything else was very good although the green salad was slightly too salty for my liking. A deliciously dry glass of the Pinga branco (made my Pondalowie) completed my meal.
If you’re looking for Melbourne quality food and an extensive and intriguing drinks list, The Dispensary Enoteca delivers on its promise. Ignore the sniping about it in commercial reviews aggregators. Although it now has newer competitors, this little restaurant has a charm worth experiencing.