Great food, great wine at The Nose

Central Otago Mirror - - ARTS -

The Nose is part of Cromwell’s ex­cit­ing new de­vel­op­ment the High­lands Motorsport Park. It of­fers lunch and din­ner din­ing, wine tast­ing (hence the name) and wine sales. It has its own wine range called The Nose which is pro­duced mostly from the grapes that grow sur­round­ing the restau­rant at the park and of­fers an ex­ten­sive range of Cen­tral Otago pro­duced wines. As there were six of us we de­cided to share a range of en­trees and opted for pork, fennel and chilli meat­balls with three dips ($11), blue cheese br­uschetta with port and grape chut­ney ($9), and br­uschetta with sauteed scal­lops, lemon pep­per, smoked salmon mousse and baby spinach ($11). We thor­oughly en­joyed each en­tree and they were easy to share. The ar­ray of flavours left us look­ing for­ward to what our mains had to of­fer. I or­dered the egg­plant and ri­cotta gratin with basil pesto, sun­dried toma­toes, parme­san cheese served with pota­toes and beet­root and smoked chicken ($25). The dish burst with flavour and af­ter hav­ing dif­fi­cultly de­cid­ing on a dish I was glad I wasn’t left with ‘‘food envy’’. The eye fil­let steak served with mush­rooms, scal­loped pota­toes, roast veg­etable salad and beef jus ($36) was cooked to perfection and the creamy mushroom risotto with truf­fle oil, grilled chicken fil­lets and mas­car­pone and parme­san cheese ($23) was a hearty and gluten free meal. The tangy co­conut cream scal­lops on the surf and turf ($32) – con­sist­ing of a roast pork loin mar­i­nated with Emer­son with red wine steamed cab­bage and roast pota­toes — ‘‘melted in the mouth’’. The only small down­side was the slow braised veni­son Osso buco ($24) was served slightly colder than pre­ferred. All the dishes were well pre­sented. The Nose wine cost about $30 per bot­tle and house pinot noir and pinot gris is also avail­able. If you’re not a fan of The Nose wine the cheap­est al­ter­na­tive on the menu will set you back $50. Im­pec­ca­ble. Our drink or­ders and en­trees were ar­rived promptly and the sev­eral ques­tions we had to ask our wait staff were eas­ily an­swer. The staff were very help­ful and seemed to to know a lot about the menu – de­spite it chang­ing a few days ear­lier. We were all de­lighted to be given warm bread be­fore our en­trees ar­rived. The in­side restau­rant area of The Nose is large and open and there is invit­ing out­door seat­ing in the sun and among grape vines. On the night we dined at the restau­rant it was dis­ap­point­ing there was no back­ground mu­sic was play­ing and all we had to lis­ten to was chat­ter amongst the other din­ers. There is a fire­place sit­u­ated at one end but as we were seated quite far away from it, it was slightly nippy. A cou­ple of peo­ple in my group said they had been slightly distracted by a large tele­vi­sion screen play­ing an episode of Top Gear but I as­sume it was to add to the motorsport feel of the grounds. This would be a great restau­rant to en­joy a meal with a group of friends, large or small and is also a per­fect place to hold a func­tion. With a very com­pet­i­tively price lunch menu it would be well worth the short drive from Cromwell for a mid­day bite. The food and ser­vice was fan­tas­tic and I will no doubt be drop­ping in to taste the lunch menu.

Photo: CHE BAKER 627941042.

Fan­tas­tic food: The Nose Cafe, Restau­rant and Wine Ad­ven­ture at the High­lands Motorsport Park.

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