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Sassy New Italian Restaurant Opening in Queenstown

4 December 2012

Sassy New Italian Restaurant Opening in Queenstown

Queenstown is set to experience the true art of Italian dining when Italian bistro Sasso opens its doors mid-December.

Sasso, meaning stone in Italian, is centrally located in historic McNeill’s cottage, just a few steps from the picturesque shores of Lake Wakatipu.

Executive Chef Sal Grant will head a team of eight chefs and promises to offer Italian inspired cuisine that is both traditional and innovative - think rustic Italian with fresh local ingredients. Having worked along side prominent hospitality figures like Antonia Crisci at Poderi Crisci and his nephew Sergio Maglione at Toto, Grant was inspired by their classic yet modern approach to Italian food.

An award-winning chef, Grant is keen to expose locals to some new taste experiences like fresh Burrata, an Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream, which he char grills with pumpkin, thyme and balsamic vinegar to create one of eight delicious starters.

Grant has carefully crafted the extensive menu and is sure the Timpano pasta – made famous in the Italian movie ‘Big Night’ - will become an overnight sensation. It’s an elaborate, labour-intensive baked pasta dish that contains mozzarella, aromatic vegetables, meatballs, salami and other sumptuous morsels. Bellissimo!

Sasso is the creation of two local businessmen, The Rees Queenstown CEO Mark Rose and David Matthews, also a UK Property developer, who felt Queenstown was missing a chic modern Italian dining option.

The historic stone cottage has undergone a stunning $500,000 refurbishment revealing a clean crisp interior with a solid wood bar and marble counters sourced in Italy. Chrystal light fittings form a lavish centrepiece while the state of the art kitchen offers an open servery that, along with the Mediterranean outdoor courtyard and open fire, creates a warm and relaxing ambiance.

The familiar face of General Manager Candice Chow, previously of the Rees Hotel Queenstown, will greet guests. Ms Chow has worked at the prestigious Michelin three-star Caprice Restaurant in the Four Seasons Hotel & Resort, Hong Kong, and is a professionally trained sommelier. She has an excellent knowledge of the fine local pinots to be featured at Sasso along with the impressive wine collection directly sourced from Italy.

Doors open 14 December with an official opening date to be announced shortly.


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