ADDRESS:   18 Buckingham St, Arrowtown
MAINS:   $37
CONTACT:   03 442 0131
SCORE:   16.5 / 20

Ben Bayly named Aosta in Arrowtown after the small town in northern Italy. Interestingly, both places lie on the 45th parallel. The synergies continue in the Arrowtown kitchen as Bayly, a hospo heavyweight, brings to the fore all the stuff he’s been doing best since way back. His cooking in Arrowtown is so straight-from-the-heart that you can taste the love. Chef Steven Sepsy heads up the kitchen and a skilled team behind him is smashing it behind the pass and on the floor. The pasta is done to perfection and the fish doesn’t get better than this. This sort of food is indicative of a welltravelled master chef who has found his happy place. The flavours may be Italian; the menu is as close to local as you can get. The wine list stretches beyond the best of Italy and Central Otago.

IN BRIEF Bringing out the best in Ben Bayly and beyond