The team mantra at The Bistro is “simple but nice”. It should probably read “simple and nice” because the menu of chef-owner Jude Messenger (above) delivers plenty on both counts. Messenger is a strong advocate for highquality ingredients, sourced as locally as possible, treated with respect and without undue complication. This approach takes confidence and strong technical skills in the kitchen. The frequently changing menu presents game foods such as wild rabbit alongside more conventional Cambridge duck and Wharekauhau lamb dishes, while carefully prepared seasonal vegetables sit alongside expertly rendered sauces. The decor is earthy and comfortable, the service responsive and efficient and the drinks list well-considered, including top-quality wines at very reasonable prices.
17 Tamamutu St, Taupo, 07 377 3111, thebistro.co.nz Dinner 7 days; mains $26-$39
IN BRIEF Quality ingredients prepared with skill and served with care