Finally…we got a booking at Russell’s. This rustic old cottage and converted shed on the Fleurieu peninsula of South Australia is the hottest place to be on a Friday evening, year-round. We were seated inside the old cottage at a wicker lounge area and ate antipasti followed by pizzas cooked in Russell’s hand-built brick ovens.

The Antipasti consisted of Russell’s hard-to-find Dukkah, Turkish bread, flat pita bread, olive oil, olives, roasted capsicum, marinated mushrooms, artichoke hearts, local almonds, feta cheese and a bit of rocket. All of this is eaten by hand, dipping the bread in the oil then into the Dukkah. grabbing a bits of the other food with Turkish or pita bread.

Two of the pizzas we chose were turkish style, not round, but long with the edges folded in, the fillings fresh and light. No heavy, greasy, cheesy mess. Lamb with preserved lime and coriander, Chilli chicken. The round one was thin and topped with mushroom, anchovy, bocconcini and fresh tomato. Simple. Elegant. Delicious.

Then there was desert…Panna cotta with mango, flourless chocolate cake, and a summer berry and peach tart served with creme fraiche!

Out in the converted shed are long tables and music going. After dinner a space is cleared for a dance floor. Russell himself is often the DJ. Sometimes the local Tango group is on hand for dinner and a bit of Tango. A great way to warm up on a Winter night. Any time of year it’s a pleasure to wander the grounds, check out the veggie garden, look up at the stars, sit by the big bonfire with the last of the red wine or coffee.

BYO Wine is OK but the wine list is good (read quality wines without restaurant mark up price). Open Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights over sumer; Friday night only the rest of the year. Book now to avoid disappointment!

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