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Sumptuous Affair

26 August 2006

Saint Clair Cellar Door and Café Saint Clair Cellar Door and Café
~by Karen Dowling, Saturday Express

There is nothing as glorious as sitting in the Marlborough sun, sipping a glass of local wine, enjoying a vineyard vista and anticipating a meal of something quite special.
Lunch has become something we “do” and nobody does it better than Saint Clair Cellar Door and Café. Open each day from nine until five, Saint Clair have chosen to serve one meal per day and serve it well. Without the hindrance of preparing an evening repast, they have concentrated on perfecting the ultimate lunch; light but filling, quick but not hurried and jam packed with flavour.
On this most gorgeous of winter days I sat outside and simply relaxed. Café Manager Jo Sommers introduced me to the menu. I chose the Smoked Salmon and Creamed Cheese Quiche, while my partner chose the more robust Moroccan Lamb pie served with salad and mint and date chutney. Hostess Christine Hammond was on hand to help with wine choice, recommending the Sauvignon Blanc with the salmon and Pinot Noir with the pie.
The quiche was divine – rich, smooth and creamy and indulgently good. It was served with a green salad, mayonnaise and lemon, simple yet perfect. My partner tucked into his pie and announced it delicious. The pastry was bulging generously with a spicy lamb filling while the date chutney added to the authentically of the dish. Another winner.
The wines were inspired choices, standing strong on their own merits while matching the food brilliantly. Authors note: never be afraid to ask for wine recommendation with your food, especially at a winery. When you get it right they bring out the best in each other.
While I reluctantly gave the dessert menu a miss, I chose coffee, just to stretch the afternoon out a little further. Then, as the sun dipped a little closer to the horizon, I left reluctantly, as I’m sure all patrons do.
To “do” lunch right, “do” it at Saint Clair Cellar Door and Café, open seven days a week, nine to five each day.