Off the beaten track

Si­mon Farrell-Green eats his way around New Ply­mouth.

Metro Magazine NZ - - Peugeot + Metro -

Cal­lit the Bil­bao ef­fect. Since the open­ing of the spec­tac­u­lar Len Lye Cen­tre at the Govett-Brew­ster Art Gallery — with its rip­pling stain­less-steel façade — four years ago, New Ply­mouth has un­der­gone some pretty rad­i­cal changes. In par­tic­u­lar, in the few blocks of the West End Precinct around the gallery, there are some ex­cel­lent op­tions for eat­ing and drink­ing, es­pe­cially in the court­yard of the old White Hart Ho­tel. Even bet­ter: if you’re stay­ing at the King & Queen Ho­tel Suites, you can charge it all back to your room.

Mon­ica’s

Named for Mon­ica Brew­ster, the arts pa­tron who left her for­tune to the gallery that now bears her name, Mon­ica’s is an airy sort of space at­tached to the gallery, with a lovely tim­ber ceil­ing and big win­dows to the street. It may be the coun­try’s best gallery restau­rant: the menu is fresh and in­ter­est­ing, fea­tur­ing an ex­cel­lent kedgeree, and the wine list is great — get a carafe with friends and while away the af­ter­noon. mon­i­cas­eatery.co.nz

So­cial Kitchen

You’ll find So­cial Kitchen a cou­ple of blocks away, in the for­mer Sal­va­tion

Army Young Peo­ples Hall. In­side, it’s nicely in­dus­trial and al­most al­ways very busy. Shared plates are the go here: we can rec­om­mend the slow-cooked lamb rump and the rare steak, paired with sea­sonal greens; you must also or­der the blue-cheese gnoc­chi, which is a knock­out. so­cial-kitchen.co.nz

Ms White

Ms White is bare-knuck­les sim­ple. A steel counter in the yard of the White Hart Ho­tel, four taps of craft beer that change daily, a pizza oven and a hand­ful of tres­tle ta­bles. What more do you need? The piz­zas are great — puffy and nicely black­ened in the pizza Napoli style; we can heartily rec­om­mend the porchetta, fea­tur­ing home-made pork sausage and roasted cap­sicum. mswhite.co.nz

Meat & Liquor

The meat at Meat & Liquor is, as you’d ex­pect for Taranaki’s finest steak­house, highly ex­cel­lent: not so long ago, we ate a per­fect piece of Ben­more striploin, aged for 33 days and cooked over a wood-fired grill. But Meat & Liquor also has at­ten­tive, thought­ful ser­vice and makes an ex­cel­lent Ne­groni — if you ask them nicely, they’ll make it us­ing Juno, a lo­cal craft gin. We can also rec­om­mend the pre­served sausages, which come in a jar on the table and go very nicely with the house-churned but­ter and bread. meatan­dliquor.co.nz

Bil­low

Down a lit­tle side al­ley off Devon St in a con­tainer mall re­pur­posed from Christchur­ch, Bil­low is a bak­ery serv­ing some very fine sour­dough: darkly crunchy on the out­side, chewy and dense on the in­side. We can also highly rec­om­mend a warm break­fast roll on a Satur­day morn­ing. bil­low.co.nz OFF THE BEATEN TRACK DRIVEN BY PEU­GEOT 508 GT. DIS­COVER MORE AT PEU­GEOT.CO.NZ

Can­ter Val­ley whole poussin, roasted grapes and black gar­lic sauce from Meat & Liquor.

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