ORIGINAL ARTICLE SOURCE : NEWCASTLE HERALD : SUMMER IN STYLE AT SIGNORA
Honeysuckle on the harbour is a hive of activity during the summer months. At Signora, though, you can relax and watch the world go by. And actually hear the person next to you speak.
Situated at the very eastern end of the precinct’s central dining strip, the restaurant’s unique vantage point is completely open to the sea breeze. Perfect for people watching, cocktail in hand.
The latest dining option at The Landing Bar & Kitchen is traditional Italian with a contemporary edge. Head chef Paul Thornton was trained in traditional Italian cooking and it has been his culinary passion ever since. His approach to cooking is simple: “Start with excellent produce, keep the focus on fresh flavours, don’t over-complicate things and always season well”.
“The Signora menu is a celebration of the Italian way of dining. It is designed to be shared so we encourage our guests to order a selection of small and large plates which we serve to the centre of the table for everyone to enjoy. Family style,” he explained.
“We have a modern take on the classic vitello tonato – veal, anchovy mayo and Alto olive oil – and a house-made gnocchi with nudja, peas and pangratatto, which is already a Signora favourite. My top picks from the menu are the white fish crudo with olives, capers and fresh citrus, and the Cloudy Bay clam linguine with chilli, tomato and rocket. Both are great for a long lunch in the sun enjoyed with your favourite people and a bottle of chilled wine.”
Owners Andrew and Lisa Margan have crafted a well-balanced wine list while their son Ollie, who was named one of the top 25 “bar influencers” in Australia by Drinks World magazine in August, has worked his magic on the cocktail list.
Signora at The Landing has the right mix of ingredients for a memorable New Year’s Eve experience. Choose from the Garden Canape Package ($85 per person) or the Dining Package ($129 per person) and at 9pm you are front and centre for the fireworks display.
If you’re hosting your own New Year’s Eve event, though, Thornton has this advice to give.
“It’s important to enjoy the celebrations as much as your guests. Keep everything as simple as possible and choose dishes that can be prepared the day before rather than doing all the hard-work on the day. Grazing options will be the way to go, allowing everyone to mingle and eat and drink at their leisure.”