End your day enjoying drinks in front of a generous fire before satisfying your appetite with a simple gourmet dinner enhanced by a selection of fine New Zealand and French wines.
Before building Silverpine, living in the small coastal town of Okarito, Sue developed her cuisine using the freshest ingredients from the Tasman Sea and surrounding South Westland forests. For 10 years, she fished in front of the house to catch Whitebait, a fresh, delicate fry that surf to their natal rivers every spring. She swapped whitebait recipes with other fishermen along the riverbank. Very old recipes used a swan’s egg to one pound of Whitebait. To bring out the delicate flavor, Whitebait is always cooked in butter.
During king tides, Mike and Sue picked mussels from the beach and steamed them with some ginger, garlic, and sherry. Pipis and cockles from the lagoon were often sautéed with garlic, olive oil, dry vermouth, chili pepper flakes and pasta.
From the forests and mountains, they lived on venison, chamois, and tahr. Meat was hung and aged for as long as possible. The best cuts were quickly seared with garlic and juniper berries. The tougher cuts were braised in dark beer or red wine.
The tradition of good food from fresh local ingredients, wine, and conversation continues at Silverpine. Sue still only uses the freshest, best quality seafood and meats in her cuisine. Kelpy, succulent blue cod and thick, fat fillets of turbot and brill travel to Silverpine via Stewart Island and the Tasman Sea.
Through out the year, muscular sockeye salmon breed in swift Alpine rivers, draining the lakes of New Zealand’s Southern Alps. In less than a day, salmon are caught, filleted, and delivered to Silverpine from the Mt. Cook region.
Silverpine serves farm-raised venison, providing a steady supply of this greatest of all game meats.
New Zealand Supreme Lamb, a boutique operation at the foothills of the Southern Alps, supplies us with top quality lamb that has no growth hormones.
In the autumn and winter we braise flavorful cuts of meat for those lower temperatures and full days of hunting and heliskiing. Chicken and ginger soup with rice vermicelli and a splash of whisky also nourishes our guests.
A menu sample of dinner included in the tariff:
Predinner drinks with: local and Spanish cured meats, ciabatta with fresh ricotta and preserved figs.
Entrée: Salad of sashimi salmon, pickled ginger, red peppers, and fresh Asian herbs with a light sesame and soy vinaigrette.
Main Course: French racks of New Zealand lamb served with organic red rice pilaf, roasted seasonal vegetables and wild mint jelly.
Dessert: Wild thyme, honey pannacotta and Central Otago dried apricots steeped in saffron and a local riesling
Herbal Teas and Coffee.
A comprehensive and continually updated wine list is on offer to guests. Silverpine sources wines from boutique vineyards through out New Zealand as well as champagne from France.
For breakfast, Sue hunts for artisan bacon and sausages, uses organic dairy products, and bakes. The table is also set with homemade preserves, bread, organic muesli, fresh fruit, herbal teas, and freshly brewed coffee.
Sitting at a fourteen foot black pine dining table with light streaming on the indoor rock garden, looking out at the mountains, lake, and weather, and enjoying nice food and wine – is a memorable New Zealand experience.