Queenstown’s iconic Amisfield Restaurant and Cellar Door is embracing the new season with a contemporary spring lunch offering that deviates from the set tasting menu format it has become famous for.
Lunchtime diners will now have several delectable choices to make as Amisfield launches à la carte dining, with a focus on meals cooked over a new fire pit in the courtyard.
The move to cooking outdoors in the fire pit not only adds a little theatre to the dining experience, it means dishes are infused with the smoky flavour profile that can only come from cooking over coals.
Many of the dishes will also be prepared in front of the diner or served onto diner’s plates at the table, resulting in truly interactive experience.
The new à la carte menu includes whole crayfish, new season asparagus and mushroom entrées, while diners can choose from The Whole Fish, The Whole Lamb and Venison Wellington for the main event.
Cooked over embers, the meals promise to be as impressive as the spectacular vista Amisfield enjoys amongst the vines.
Other dishes that the restaurant has become famous for, including the Paua Pie with blackfoot paua, manuka smoked potato, and brisée pastry, returns on the menu.
Amisfield’s Food & Beverage Director Tony Stewart says the new lunch menu represents the work of a small but dedicated group of fishermen, hunters, gathers, and farmers and the introduction of the à la carte menu gives diners a less formal approach to the menu, whilst still delivering the standard of excellence the restaurant is renowned for.
“By bringing their products together to epitomise the tastes of central Otago, we’re highlighting the relationship between raw produce and the finished dish in ways seldom seen,” he says. “The result is a dining experience that is chosen by them while being interactive, playful, theatrical and, above all, delicious”.
Executive chef Vaughan Mabee agrees, saying cooking over fire imparts so many memories for him, growing up in New Zealand.
“This new fire and coal station enables me to offer more depth into the menu at lunch and helps to add new flavours and techniques into the tasting menu at dinner. I’m excited by this addition to our offering”.
While Amisfield’s lunch menu is moving to an à la carte experience, dinner will continue to feature the set tasting menu that Queenstown locals and visitors have come to love over the years.
Carefully curated by Chef Mabee, dinner is priced at $240 per person and consists of a tactile 18 flavour combination menu that takes you on a curated epicurean tour of the Central Otago region.
Of course, both those diners enjoying the à la carte menu for lunch and those experiencing the set tasting menu in the evenings will be able to soak up the ambience of the Central Otago landscape whether it’s in the chic dining room, outside courtyard or in one of the private glasshouses.
These menus, have of course been designed to complement the wines produced from Amisfield’s 93ha organic vineyard and winery.
The restaurant and cellar door are the only place that guests can sample all of Amisfield’s current releases alongside a selection of older vintages from their library.
Amisfield is one of just four restaurants nationwide to retain three hats in the annual Cuisine Restaurant of the Year awards.
The restaurant is open for lunch Wednesday to Sunday from 11.30am to 3.30pm (5.00pm Sundays) and dinner Thursday to Saturday from 6.30pm.
The cellar door is open seven days from 10.00am to 6.00pm. Bookings are essential and can be made online here or by calling the restaurant.
All dietary requirements can be catered for with advance notice.