Fire-hit restaurants on list of NZ's best

Katrina Toovey contemplates the many bottles of wine, spirits and glasses that need to be shelved...
No. 7 Balmac owner Katrina Toovey. Photo: Supplied
Two Otago restaurants have emerged from ashes to make the list of New Zealand's top restaurants.

Dunedin's No.7 Balmac and Wanaka's Ode Conscious Dining have come back from major fires which closed them and required extensive renovations to be selected for the Cuisine top 108 restaurants for 2019.

They are among 12 other Otago restaurants to make the list including first-timers Cucina from Oamaru, Moiety from Dunedin and new Arrowtown Italian restaurant by Ben Bayly, Aosta.

It is a strong showing for a single region - in comparison only eight Canterbury restaurants made the list, and four in the Hawkes Bay.

Ode Conscious Dining head chef and owner Lucas Parkinson prepares to reopen today after fire...
Ode Conscious Dining head chef and owner Lucas Parkinson prepares to reopen today after fire gutted the restaurant a year ago. PHOTO: KERRIE WATERWORTH
In Queenstown, popular restaurants Sherwood, Rata, Amisfield, Botswana Butchery and Fishbone Bar and Grill, all of which have made the list in the past, were selected while in Wanaka, Bistro Gentil and Kika also made the cut.

In North Otago Fleur's Place at Moeraki was selected as was Riverstone Kitchen.

The restaurants were selected by a panel of 40 anonymous assessors led by Kerry Tyack and will appear in the 2019 Cuisine Good Food Guide.

''This year we have taken particular note of those restaurants which have recognised and acknowledged that not only should we be informed, but that dining out should be entertaining and fun.

''Those who have made the Cuisine Good Food Guide this year have truly found their niche, deliver consistency and tell their story loudly and clearly.''

On November 25 restaurants will find out if they have been awarded a coveted hat or two or three at the Cuisine Good Food Awards.

This year the scoring has tightened - to achieve a one hat rating a score of 16 out of 20 is required. For a prestigious ''three hat'' rating restaurants need to achieve a score of 19 (up from 18).

The restaurant of the year and chef of the year will also be announced as will the highest achieving restaurants in 13 categories.

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