Renzo saw the initiative, now in it’s seventh year, as another chance to further promote Bendigo, the Central Victorian region and the Bendigo Pottery, who created the hand-painted ceramic plates.
This year, seven Bendigo individual restauranteurs have embraced the opportunity to offer the collectable plates as a souvenir of a memorable dining experience in their restaurant.
Sue James of the Bendigo Pottery assisted each restaurant to design their plates to embody their unique eatery.
Renzo chose not to design a new plate this year, “I felt nothing could show our fabulous uniqueness any more than our original design,” he said.
“The design incorporates both the gallery and park vistas.
“The cafe’s position is what makes it special and we do our best to provide the best food and service to go with it,” he said.
He has already sold out of the cafe’s 2012 plates but has more on order for keen connoissieurs.
After purchasing the seven restaurant plates, collectors can collect an eighth, complimentary master plate from Bendigo Tourism to complete the set.
The licensed Gallery Cafe enjoys a unique location tucked away behind the art gallery overlooking the sculpture annex and rolling green slopes of Rosalind Park, but it is a little cafe with a big reputation. It consistently receives great reviews and provides much more than lunches, coffee and cake. This week the cafe has catered for three big functions in the Drury Room of the gallery. Renzo was busy setting up for a dinner in honour of La Trobe University Vice Chancellor John Dewar when we dropped in on Wednesday.
The Gallery Cafe and staff are among Bendigo’s best ambassadors. They have wined and dined thousands of art gallery patrons during the recent blockbuster exhibitions and many have since visited review websites to give the cafe the thumbs up for great customer service. The quality of the food was up there with the hidden location.
This is no mean feat when you consider the small kitchen and the challenges being housed in the art gallery building produce, like no gas.
This weekend it will be business as usual with many visitors attending Bendigo’s inaugural writer’s festival in the gallery locale.
The Gallery Cafe is open Wednesday - Sunday (except December 25) from 10am until 4pm and can also can provide catering for corporate and private functions, on and off site.
Reservations are recommended during peak periods. Phone 5441 8896.
- Vicki Harrington