Dine with a mountain-top view

On a clear day, the panoramic views from Mandy’s on the Mountain stretch across Moreton Bay, from the granite peaks of the Glasshouse Mountains to the tall spires of Brisbane’s CBD.

Located just 35 minutes from the heart of Brisbane at Clear Mountain in Pine Rivers Shire, Mandy’s on the Mountain is Mercure Clear Mountain Lodge, Spa and Vineyard’s signature restaurant. Every Friday and Saturday night the restaurant offers a locally-inspired dining experience that takes guests on a culinary journey.

Executive chef Chef Ivan Butera, who began his career in the kitchen of the Hotel Costa Verde located in the medieval city of Cefalu in Sicily, brings a strong European flavour to the lodge’s menu.

Chef Butera’s focus for Mandy’s is strongly on the high quality, fresh produce available locally and the herbs and vegetables grown in the lodge’s extensive chef’s garden, which supplies everything from colourful nasturtium flowers and rainbow chard to tomatoes, lettuce and beans.

“Mandy’s on the Mountain enjoys an inspired outlook from its mountain-top location and I believe the dining experience we deliver complements and enriches the majestic views,” Chef Butera said.

“Having our own horticulturalist and chef’s garden on hand to provide the freshest in seasonal herbs, vegetables, fruit, and even our own honey, is a true advantage and tribute to our magical location.”

The menu has plenty of options for seafood lovers, including an intriguing dish replicating the Hervey Bay shoreline on a plate. Expect edible sand with seaweed and micro herbs topped with a combination of seared scallop and honey-glazed octopus. A delectable risotto comes with Moreton Bay bugs in a vodka and cream base – or cook this dish at home using Chef Butera’s recipe.

Beef lovers also will rejoice in the grain-fed sirloin fillet sourced from Oakey and aged for 120 days, or the marinated medium rare beef tenderloin topped with a cognac and Dijon sauce in the Clear Mountain Chateaubriand.

If you have not been to Mandy’s on the Mountain recently, you will be surprised by the refurbishment completed in mid-2016.

Another innovation is the Mandy’s Chefs Table concept planned for late 2016, which will offer guests a special dining experience. The inventive set menu designed by the hotel’s executive chef will invite diners to try new or different dishes they might not otherwise select.

The adjacent Lakeview Restaurant is Mercure’s casual dining option, and is open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Guests can enjoy a buffet breakfast, with an a la carte offering for lunch and dinner.

Lakeview Restaurant’s new large windows make the most of the expansive views from Redcliffe to Brisbane city. More plans for late 2016 include a new fireside lounge bar area for drinks on cool mountain nights.

You won’t leave the view behind if you decide to turn lunch or dinner into an overnight stay at Mercure Clear Mountain Lodge with breakfast. The resort’s 53 rooms and suites all take full advantage of the mountain-top outlook and offer a tranquil and relaxing escape. New to the lodge are six refurbished Privilege Rooms, eight Deluxe Rooms, and two new honeymoon-ready Lodge Suites that take the luxury experience to a new level.

Other facilities include a full-sized tennis court, large swimming pool, sundeck and the on-site Stephanie’s Mountain Spa, which offers an extensive menu of contemporary treatments to complement a romantic getaway. How does a couple’s spa treatment and massage followed by dinner at Mandy’s and a long sleep-in with a mountain-view breakfast sound?

Mandy’s on the Mountain is an RACQ Dining Rewards partner and is located at Mercure Clear Mountain Lodge, 564 Clear Mountain Road, Clear Mountain, telephone 3298 5100 or visit the website. The restaurant is open Friday and Saturday nights.

To find out how RACQ members can receive 10 to 20 percent cash back on their dining bills, visit Dining Rewards at racq.com.