Originally built in the mid 60’s, Feathertop Lodge has moved with the times. Over the years it established a fine reputation as a hospitable hospice - especially during the Dinner Bed and Breakfast days. During the 90’s, part of the lounge was converted into restaurant area, and the reputation of Mo’s Restaurant began to grow.
A change of ownership last season has seen nothing but improvements take place at Feathertop.
John Alcorn and his wife Ros originally worked as primary school teachers before advancing their careers and diversifying - John into property development based on the Gold Coast and Ros into the early child care industry. The couple have been married 27 years and have two children; Sean - a pharmacist, and Joel who is currently studying architecture at University in Brisbane.
Their involvement with Falls Creek began four or five years back when John met the inimitable Barry Jones from Pretty Valley. When Feathertop came on the market, it seemed like an opportunity too good to miss. John and Ros loved the area and were keen to establish for themselves a home away from home. A spot where they, their family, business partners and friends could take advantage of the clear air and relaxing conditions - both summer and winter.
Taking over the lodge meant there was quite a lot to do. Firstly, all the linen, doonas, towels, pillows, etc were bundled up and taken into St Vincent de Paul in Albury - thereby put to good use by a worthy cause.
This meant a total refurbishment of the rooms including new linen, a coat of paint and new LCD televisions. Another addition was the creation of a dedicated video/games room with internet access.
Other lodge facilities include 24 hour tea and coffee, a library reading area, guest’s laundry and drying facilities, good ski in - ski out access, en-suites in all rooms and the lodge now provides a family friendly non-smoking holiday venue that would suit almost every visitor to Falls Creek. A recently installed spa complements the overall experience.
The kitchen was the next on the agenda. New stoves, new fridges and freezers and generally new equipment would allow the new chef to undertake his role in a truly professional manner.
John and Ros were able to lure from the Gold Coast a French Canadian chef, Brian Ritchot who originally hails from Montreal. Brian had been working on the Gold Coast at the Mermaid Restaurant at Burleigh Heads and previously at Michael’s on Riverside in Brisbane. He decided he liked the idea of a move to the snow. Brian is accompanied by his wife Natasha and daughter Oceana. Natasha is a qualified Massage Therapist and will be offering her service by appointment at Feathertop.
Brian’s arrival also meant some changes. Whilst the Mo’s Restaurant area has a lot of ambience there were a few things that needed attention. Consequently we now have new crockery and cutlery throughout and several other personal touches.
Like all good chefs, Brian has a desire to source as much local produce as possible. He commented “I am amazed at the quality and diversity of easily sourced local produce. It really helps me put together a very comprehensive menu.”
As a result the new (and constantly evolving) menu is very creative and includes for appertisers such treats as:
bread, lescure butter for two; warm smoked paprika almond; marinated Australian olive; Pernod butter poached prawn; or white wine steamed mussels.
Entrée may be selected from: comfit pork belly, sauerkraut, granny smith sorbet, four spice crumble & raisin purée; French blue cheese soufflé, waldorf salad; alpine chestnut, organic barley, Jerusalem artichoke soup and its garnishes; beetroot terrine, goat curd, pickled baby beetroot, almond polvoron, baby chard, banyuls vinaigrette.
The menu listed a range of mains, all equally exotic: black angus fillet, cauliflower & horseradish cream, potato milles-feuilles asparagus, glaze eshalotte; fruit de mer cassoulette, king prawns, mussels, vongoles, fish, scallops, pulse, saffron and white wine broth; duck ballotine of porcini mushrooms, slow roast breast pea purée, fondant potato, pinot noir jus; blue eye cod, braised fennel, celeriac, butter poach prawn, spinach sauce, vanilla salt, squid ink paint; truffled Portobello mushroom, balsamic onion, lemon potato, tallegio cheese, roast walnut, raddicio salad.
To finalise a delightful evening, a cheese platter in a range of sizes is one option. Otherwise desserts may be selected from: 70% chocolate ganache, mint sorbet, pistachio soil, dehydrated chocolate mousse; caramel banana parfait, caramelised banana, toffee sauce; or baby meringue, passion fruit curd, hazelnut syrup, poached lime.
A comprehensive wine list also instils anticipation with a selection of imported and local sparklings, rose, reisling, gewürztraminer, pinot gris, marsanne & voignier, sauvignon blanc and chardonnay.
The reds presented a range of both local and interstate merlot, pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon and blends, shiraz, grenache and blends and several tasty dessert wines.
A comment from a dinner companion “tonight’s meal stands up to some of the best restaurant meals I have enjoyed in France and other venues overseas.”
Another addition to the restaurant this week was the arrival, straight off the plane from France, of Bruno Nicoli who will take charge of the floor at Mo’s as Maitre De. Further enquiries to 5758 3232 or email email@example.com
Dinner companions Wendy Wilkins, (l) and Sharie Rippingale (r) with Chef Brian Rochet and waitress Kate Blundell. Pic - Ken Bell.