The Story of Molines Bistro
You could be forgiven for calling Robert Molines the godfather of Hunter Valley dining. Sally and Robert’s arrival in the valley in the early days of the valley’s burgeoning wine industry laid the foundation of an enduring relationship. Their first restaurant at Happy Valley Winery in 1973 led to the successful Cellar Restaurant at Hungerford Hill, then the eponymous restaurant at PepperTree. During a brief sojourn in the French Bistro at Margans old cellar door at Beltree, in 2008 they made the inspired decision to move to Tallavera Grove Vineyard and start Bistro Molines.
Along the way Robert has acquired many accolades including one chef’s hat awards by the SMH Good Food Guide, first for Robert’s at Peppertree and now for Bistro Molines each year since 2010. But his enduring legacy and a witness to his generous spirit must be his nurturing of a generation of our top chefs, including Lesley Taylor, Robert’s first apprentice and Troy Rhoades-Brown of two hatted Muse restaurant.
His present head chef, Garreth Robbs and sous chef, Alex Topp have both won the prestigious Brett Graham award for young chefs (Garreth in 2009 and Alex Topp in 2014). In Sally’s words, “We feel our careers have come full circle after the evolution of the Bistro, and love being here at Mount View”.