ADDRESS: 284 Trafalgar St, Nelson
DINNER: Mon – Sat
MAINS: $34 – $72
CONTACT: 03 545 7191
SCORE: 17 / 20
In a heritage building in the heart of Nelson, this restaurant offers a modern take on classic bistro fare. The dining space has undergone a spruce up and has polished wooden floors and glossy black wall panelling. The staff are welcoming and professional, adeptly skilled to expound on the content and construction of the dishes. Which is just as well since chef/co-owner Aaron Ballantyne’s imaginative, always-changing menu warrants conversation. Options are based on Ballantyne’s almost daily trips to the markets and the resulting dishes sing with freshness. Case in point, the house-made curd ravioli – a visual feast of seasonal spring greens featuring baby broad beans, grilled artichoke hearts, baby peas and minted meyer lemon sauce topped with a nasturtium leaf. The ambience is buzzy and the wine list features quality regional wines and some non-New Zealand interlopers that work well with the menu.