Home' Hospitality Business : HB SPT 2016 Contents CLOONEY
33 Sale St, Auckland, 1010
Phone: (09) 358 1702
ne of Auckland’s longest-standing fine dining restaurants,
Clooney has been a constant on the growing and evolving
dining landscape in New Zealand. Its move to open seven
days earlier this year shows that demand for the exquisite
exper ience at Clooney is not slowing down.
Tucked away in the heart of the city, in an architecturally designed
converted warehouse, the ambient and intimate exper ience at Clooney
is often descr ibed as destination dining, reminiscent of the great
inter national cities. Tony Stewart, Clooney owner has said, “It is hugely
important that Auckland is seen as one city that serves its inter national
guests and locals alike with a diverse dining scene, a dining scene that
offers selection and availability seven days a week.”
Clooney remains one of a handful of fine-dining establishments still
perfor ming at the top of its game with an ever changing menu and the
finest team both in the kitchen and front of house. Tony puts this down
to staying true to the vision he had for Clooney nearly 10 years ago
and continually evolving while looking inwards for improvement.
The latest in Clooney’s evolution is the option of dining at the
restaurant’s stylish bar, a move that Stewart and his team don’t take
lightly.We spoke to Stephanie Martin, Clooney restaurant manager
about their newest innovation.
FOR THE FIRST TIME IN ALMOST 10 YEARS, GUESTS ARE ABLE
TO EAT AT THE BAR AT CLOONEY. WHY NOW?
While we’ve always had a small bites section at Clooney, this is the first
time guests can order dishes from the restaurant menu. We think it’s a
wonderful opportunity for guests to exper ience Clooney in a new way
they can order a la carte from our degustation menu while relaxing at
the bar with a drink.
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE MENU AND SOME DISHES THEY
The menu at Clooney focuses on New Zealand produce and
seasonality.We have a balance of light appetiser-style dishes to r icher
mains. Executive Chef Des Har r is works hard to create dishes that are
balanced, seasonal, challenging and complete. They can be enjoyed
completely with or without matched beverages.
WHAT IS THE OVERALL CULINARY VISION FOR CLOONEY?
We want to challenge our guests using ingredients people know but in
a way they wouldn’t have thought of. Our menu is wr itten in such a
way that we don’t give everything away.We like to give the guests some
intrigue and allow interaction from our wait staff.
WHAT OTHER DINING EXPERIENCES CAN GUESTS ENJOY AT
CLOONEY AND HOW DO THEY DIFFER FROM THE BAR?
In the bar we offer individual dishes, whereas in the dining room we
offer both a la carte and degustation dining.
AS A RESTAURANT, CLOONEY IS RENOWNED FOR ITS BEVERAGE
PROGRAMME. DOES THE DRINKS LIST DIFFER AT THE BAR?
No. We offer both the same beverage opportunities in the dining
room and in the bar. We don’t see any reason our full beverage range
shouldn’t be available to guests dining or just stopping by for a drink.
WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION BEHIND THE WINE LIST?
It is important to us that our wines represent our culinary perspective.
We want it to be wholly unique and challenging, while satisfying to the
palates of a wide range of guests.
WHAT VINEYARDS AND VARIETALS ARE YOU PARTICULARLY
EXCITED ABOUT AT THE MOMENT?
We are excited by some very good New Zealand producers moving
towards some lesser known var ietals as well as the move to more
environmentally friendly wine-making practices.
TELL US ABOUT THE COCKTAIL MENU AT CLOONEY’S BAR?
We have a lot of beverage exper ience between us, so there are a lot
of ideas thrown around and a few tr ial and er rors when it comes to
cocktails. We try to keep a balance of pushing boundar ies with flavour
without over power ing the spirits we are using. As with our wine list,
referencing our food menu with our cocktail list is important.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE DRINK AND FOOD
PAIRINGS FROM THE BAR?
We offer both a wine match and an ‘ever ything but wine’ match with
our degustation, so our guests have the option of a traditional pairing
and a more moder n approach to beverage matching. Cur rently we’re
explor ing the world of saké and New Zealand craft beers.
ARE GUESTS WELCOME TO POP IN FOR DRINKS ONLY?
Most definitely. Our bar is open from 5pm daily. n
you to the bar
An Auckland dining superstar, Clooney is ever evolving
in its quest to stay one step ahead of the pack
Burnt Buffalo Milk and White Chocolate
Crab Sunflower Sunchoke Pinenut
Hospitality BUSINESS | September 2016 | 57
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