One of the many gifts of the 34th America’s Cup, that most exciting summer of sailing, is a new appreciation for all things Kiwi, including wine and food. Long a fan of New Zealand wines, my introduction to Kiwi cuisine came via Waiheke Island Yacht Club, the lux pop-up restaurant by New Zealand celebrity chef Tony Stewart.
Conceived and executed in a mere six weeks as a last minute addition to AC34, it continues to inspire long after the regatta. The fare is as beautiful as it is delicious; the presentation is quite artful. The ceviche, lamb and venison tartare are showstoppers when presented and even more amazing after tasting. New Zealand is the focus, many ingredients are imported from home, including oysters, venison and lamb of course.
Much of the restaurant’s elegantly simple décor was also imported, including the American White Oak furniture handcrafted in New Zealand by contemporary style masters Douglas and Bec.
Tasting menu and a la carte options are available, although everything is so delicious you may order just about everything like me.
Named after beautiful Waiheke Island off the coast of Auckland, the restaurant lives up to its name as a wonderful place to enjoy a culinary respite. If you haven’t enjoyed Waiheke’s tasty fare or chic minimalist vibe you’ll want to do so soon, December 31st is the last day for this very special pop-up.