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The Grill wins Cuisine NZ Restaurant of the Year

7 August 2012

The Grill wins Cuisine NZ Restaurant of the Year

Cuisine magazine has named Auckland’s The Grill as its NZ Restaurant of the Year 2012.

Cuisine’s NZ Restaurant of the Year Awards, in association with Vittoria Coffee, were announced last night. They are the only nationwide restaurant awards and are highly respected by the industry.

UK-born, Sydney-based chef Sean Connolly opened The Grill – a high-end steakhouse – on Auckland’s Federal St last year (the restaurant also took out the award for Best New Restaurant). Judges raved about its simple yet delicious dishes, including the crumbed duck egg with jamon and creamed spinach; sirloin aged on the bone with Ortiz anchovy butter; and the deservedly renowned duck-fat chips. In addition to The Grill’s consistently superb food, the judges praised the restaurant’s polished service, top wine list and elegant yet relaxed surrounds.

“The Grill has a clear focus on top-quality ingredients, all impeccably prepared. And Sean Connolly’s unpretentious menu is delightfully complemented by the restaurant’s attentive, well trained staff,” said head judge, Kerry Tyack.

Tyack, a highly experienced food writer and critic, has been the competition’s head judge for the past three years. He says selecting the winners gets tougher every year.

“The restaurant standard in New Zealand is absolutely world-class, and rising all the time, but in a competitive field, The Grill stood out,” he said.

Cuisine editor Sarah Nicholson says winning the competition is a huge achievement.

“We’re happy that a new restaurant has taken out the Restaurant of the Year title,” she said. “It’s a clear indication that New Zealand’s restaurant scene continues to evolve and become more dynamic and exciting all the time.

“The Grill achieves elegance without formality, and has a global polish that allows it to shine on the world stage. Plus the food is downright delicious. It really offers a consistently excellent experience.”

Full profiles of the winners and all the Top 50 finalists are in the 2012 Cuisine NZ Restaurant of the Year Awards guide, free with the latest issue of Cuisine, on sale 13 August.

Cuisine NZ Restaurant of the Year 2012:

RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR 2012: The Grill, Auckland

Vittoria Coffee Chef of the Year: Brenton Lowe, à Deco
Honourable mentions: Sean Marshall, Roxy and Hayden McMillan, TriBeCa

SanPellegrino Best Metropolitan* Restaurant: The Grove, Auckland
Runner-Up: The French Café, Auckland

Monteith’s Brewing Co Best Regional Restaurant: Palate, Hamilton
Runner-Up: à Deco, Whangarei

Electrolux Best New Restaurant: The Grill, Auckland
Runners-up: Depot, Auckland and Roxy, Auckland

Plumm Glassware Best Specialist Restaurant: Martin Bosley’s, Wellington
Runner-Up: Cocoro, Auckland

Whitestone Cheese Best Winery Restaurant: Pegasus Bay Winery Restaurant, Waipara
Runner-Up: Terroir at Craggy Range, Hawke’s Bay

Villa Maria Estate Restaurant Personalities of the Year: Melissa Morrow and Blair Russell,
Ponsonby Road Bistro, Auckland

Metropolitan category includes Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.


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