The main street is a hive of activity. Here you'll find antique stores selling lots of props and goodies, cute little cafes serving up that beautiful NZ coffee and a number of specialised boutiques and galleries.
It's interesting to note that Greytown was the first planned inland town and that on the outskitrts you'll find the site of the first Maori parliament.
We're not here for politics though.
We're here to sample the Wellington on a Plate menu at Bar Salute.
Bar Salute is located in the center of the main street and today's menu promises an exciting mixture of Middle Eastern, Southern Mediterranean and Moroccan cuisines. These are some of my favourite foods and my taste buds are on high alert and ready for a good workout!
The restaurant itself is decked out in dark chocolate wood tables, bright orange lamp shades and lots of wrought iron. Quite an eclectic mix but one that suits the character of the place quite well.
We're introduced to Travis, the owner and chef of Bar Salute and we chat about how the restaurant paired back its comprehensive menu and the transition it has made to serving tapas style food.
I also find out that Travis used to live in the suburb next to me many moons ago! The world really is small!
We start off with the classic Moroccan soup of harira-a soup traditionally eaten when breaking the fast during Ramadan. The harira provides a warm welcome to my insides after a morning of "wine workouts"!!! It's fragrant with cinnamon and an exotic blend of Moroccan spices finished off with tangy lemon and fresh coriander.
This is followed by a trio of dips with chargrilled flatbreads. The dips consist of a tomato confit (interesting!), hummus and roast beetroot.
The chargrilled flatbread have that perfect "charness" that marries well with the home made dips.
Next we are brought some panfried Cyprian haloumi served in a cute casuela. The haloumi has been panfried to perfection and arrives in that perfect "not too melted" state. It's soft, a little "squeaky" and not as salty as I thought it would be.
All my memories of eating in Greece coming flooding back again. So far, so good!
My appetite is whet with excitement and anticipation of the courses to come.
It's at this point that I don't know what happens...with my camera! I thought I had taken some pics of the main courses but could not locate them anywhere on my CF card. Doesn't matter...you can head on over to John's post where he gives a great review with fantastic pics.
The tapas arrive promptly and we get to sample a coleslaw made with chorizo and almonds, bacalao fritters, Moroccan lamb croquettes and a pizza made with Kapiti blue cheese, caramelised onions, bacon, pears and rocket! I'm not the biggest blue cheese fan in the world but this combination of flavours worked beautifully!
It's dessert time and my camera seems to have regained consciousness (I'm wondering if it took secret sips of wine at the winery earlier on!).
We're presented with a palate cleanser- a gin and tonic sorbet made with the local Lighthouse Gin. I wasn't sure what to expect but I can tell you this stuff is potent! You can actually taste the gin and the tonic (I know...weird!) and it's very refreshing on the palate after feasting on Bar Salute's wonderful menu...and I WANT MORE!
Yes, it's addictive but I know that if I continue to slurp eat it my sentences will not make sense!
Finally, like the two fat ladies, we're presented with a light dessert of lemon fritters served with vanilla ice cream and pomegranate molasses. I thought that these were going to be actual lemon pieces that were fried. Not so! (you can see now how much effect the alcohol has had on me).
These are best described as "fried puffs of lemon-y air"-they are that light!
A definite favourite!
If you find yourself in Wellington and are heading out to the Wairarapa region take a moment to stop off at Greytown and enjoy some of the beautiful tapas dishes at Bar Salute.
The food and wine are excellent and come highly recommended. It's something you definitely must do. (And ask if they have some of that gin and tonic sorbet too!)
If you want to experience some of Wellington's finest food and wines don't forget to enter the competition to win a chance to have dinner at the WLG pop up restaurant-comments can be made here
Souvlaki For The Soul dined at Bar Salute as a guest of Positively Wellington Tourism for Wellington on a Plate