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La Cantina is the newest Italian restaurant to grace the Great Ocean Road

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We may not expect to discover the best of Italy during a road trip along the Surf Coast, but there’s a new haunt offering just that: La Cantina.

Just last month, the newly minted farmhouse restaurant swung open its doors to locals longing to taste simple, elegant Italian cuisine. And the word on the street is, La Cantina does not disappoint.

The newest addition to the social enterprise and regenerative agriculture farm Common Ground Project, the restaurant has a simple, seasonal approach to Italian cooking. The menu is structured around produce grown on their farm, with other ingredients sourced from the Surf Coast and Otways.

Bringing this vision to life is Glenn Laurie and Lolo Hanser. Both experienced restaurateurs, the husband and wife team ran Heidleberg’s popular Little Black Pig & Sons for five years after meeting at the prestigious River Cafe in London. They recently swapped the city for the coast and are determined to showcase the best of regional Victoria. 

Home-style cooking is the touchstone of their menu. Each week, depending on produce availability and seasonal trends, a new assortment of delicious meals are whipped up by Laurie and his team of chefs. Think handmade pastas with Crystal Bay prawns, grilled marinated leg of lamb, made-to-order risotto with farm tomato and parmesan. If the sustainable approach to cooking doesn’t do it for you, then the flavours certainly will. 

It’s been two years of preparation by the Common Ground Project, who say they are delighted to welcome La Cantina’s fare to the region. After rigorous soil preparation, plus building the farm structure, to finally be able to share their efforts while maintaining their commitment to regenerative farming is a dream come true.

Guests are encouraged to wander through the farm between courses and discover more about both where their dishes came from, as well as the important, community-driven work Common Ground Project does. Delicious food with an ethical source? That’s a chef’s kiss from us.

WHAT: La Cantina
WHERE: 675 Anglesea Road, Freshwater Creek
WHEN: Lunch: Thurs-Sun 12pm-3pm, Dinner: Fri-Sat 6pm-9pm
MORE INFO: La Cantina

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