Good Food Guide - - Auckland -

With its dra­matic, so­phis­ti­cated at­mos­phere – high ceil­ings, in­di­vid­u­ally lit glossy black ta­bles, black string cur­tains – din­ner at Clooney makes for a very grown-up night out. The restau­rant turns 10 this year, mak­ing it al­most an el­der states­man in hos­pi­tal­ity terms, but ex­ec­u­tive chef Des Har­ris and head chef Sam Clark are still push­ing the bound­aries. Their food is ad­ven­tur­ous, but not too clever for its own good – the dishes are said to be al­ways in progress, with the chefs con­stantly striv­ing for per­fec­tion. Boast­ing in­gre­di­ents such as net­tles, fer­mented shi­itake and “fos­silised parsnip”, the menu could ap­pear chal­leng­ing, even in­tim­i­dat­ing, but you’re in safe hands here – go with it and you’ll love it, trust us. The wine list is ex­ten­sive, the cock­tails great and the ser­vice slick, thanks to owner Tony Ste­wart. A class act. 33 Sale St, Free­mans Bay, ph: 09-358 1702, Din­ner 7 days; two cour­ses $80, three cour­ses $100 IN BRIEF As­sured, ad­ven­tur­ous cook­ing in strik­ing sur­rounds

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