New restau­rant coast­ing

Alpine Observer - - News -

IT hasn’t taken long for Bright’s new­est restau­rant to get a taste of busi­ness in the bustling tourist town.

Af­ter a soft open­ing on Fe­bru­ary 27, it’s been full-on for the team at Elm Din­ing who have moved into what was for­merly Si­mone’s Restau­rant.

For own­ers David and Natalie Feather­ston it’s their sec­ond restau­rant ven­ture hav­ing re­lo­cated from the New South Wales Cen­tral Coast where they op­er­ated a wa­ter­front venue called Yum Yum.

“We had a thriv­ing busi­ness in Hardy’s Bay be­tween Syd­ney and Newcastle but af­ter 10 years I wouldn’t say we were still heaps pas­sion­ate about what we were do­ing,” David said.

“Af­ter that long it’s hard to keep rein­vent­ing your­self and stay­ing fresh and par­tic­u­larly for my­self I needed a change.

“We came down here last Au­gust and fell in love with the place.”

Hav­ing pre­vi­ously fo­cused on seafood and Ja­panese in­flu­enced dishes David and Natalie along with their head chef Jack Hoye have em­braced a menu of con­tem­po­rary Aus­tralian cui­sine.

Their fine din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence also fills a void in the Bright’s food and bev­er­age of­fer­ing with many venues mov­ing to­wards more ca­sual eat­ing.

“We did our re­search and spoke to a lot of peo­ple and found there was a lack of places where you could go and sit down and en­joy a longer din­ner with a mains op­tion,” Natalie said.

“We’ve cre­ated a menu that is re­ally ver­sa­tile which in­cludes your more tra­di­tional style din­ing of en­tries, mains and deserts as well as de­gus­ta­tion op­tions.

“I think the thing we’re most ex­cited about is util­is­ing so much lo­cally grown pro­duce.

“Be­ing able to drive five min­utes in ei­ther di­rec­tion and have ac­cess to fresh fruit and other sup­pli­ers has never been part of our ex­pe­ri­ence be­fore.”

De­spite tak­ing over the build­ing which was home to Bright’s most iconic restau­rant for more than 30 years, David said there was no pres­sure to live up to a rep­u­ta­tion cre­ated by Pa­trizia Si­mone.

“There’s go­ing to be peo­ple who are mas­sive Si­mone’s fans and noth­ing you do will ever com­pare, but we’ve had noth­ing but pos­i­tive feed­back so far,” David said.

“We’ve had a lot of ex-Si­mone’s cus­tomers come in and peo­ple are just ex­cited the build­ing is open again.

“I think the fact it was closed for 12-18 months be­fore we took over was a good thing.”

BY JUSTIN JEN­VEY

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