Tuesday, November 6, 2012

My Trip to Queenstown, NZ (Day 15): Botswana Butchery

After lunch, we headed out for a short hike around Lake Wakapitu. It was absolutely gorgeous with the crystal clear glacial water, mountainous backgrounds, and green trees in the forest. It was so relaxing. Any uptight NYCer would enjoy the serenity of the whole thing. After our walk, we went back to the hotel to freshen up for dinner at Botswana Butchery, a steakhouse and grill.

We decided to start off the meal light with a 1/2 dozen local bluff oysters with shallot and pinot vinaigrette. They were just coming into season as the waitress told me. I don't know what they taste like when they're fully in season but these were amazing. Possibly the best oyster I have ever eaten. So incredible fresh, clean, briny, creamy, sweet. It was a complex of flavors that made my mouth and brain immediately react in euphoria. Self control kept me from moaning at the table.
For his entree, Mr. M&P had the braised lamb shoulder with pea and mint pasta, carrots, and spinach. Again, this was excellent. Rich, deep flavors from the long braising and heartiness from the lamb. The pea and mint pasta dumplings were refreshing and light. The lightly cooked vegetables balanced out the heavy meatiness of the dish.
I went for the grilled rack of venison with pinot and wine sauce. This was very good as well. There was a deep char on the outside and yet inside was perfectly cooked to rare since venison is a leaner meat. The sauce was very rich and added another depth of indulgence to this dish.
Since all the grilled meats come as is without sides, we ordered a couple to share. His choice was bacon macaroni and cheese which was really good. Lots of bacon pieces in every bite, the cheese was super creamy and well melted. The pasta was al dente and was a nice textural difference to the rich cheese. The sprinkle of bread crumbs on top added a slight crunch.
I chose the baked mushrooms with feta and pesto. The flavors of this side dish was intense from the earthiness of the mushrooms to the funkiness of the cheese to the freshness of the pesto. A balance of strong flavors.
We went to Botswana Butchery on a whim and really enjoyed it. The service and especially the food was phenomenal. The decor was modern but comfortable. It wasn't a formal affair but was nice enough that people were put together. I would absolutely come back in a heartbeat.

Botswana Butchery
17 Marine Parade
Queenstown East 9300
New Zealand
(03) 442 6994
goodgroup.co.nz/botswana-butchery

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