Picture House East

Located in the former site of Quartier Vert, Picture House East is a lively restaurant with a tapas bar and a private gallery dining room.

This is a place where customers can enjoy a luxurious three course meal or happily while away unaccounted for hours over cream teas or a drink with friends in surroundings that soothe and please. An Anglo-Mediterranean menu is complemented by a Spanish tapas menu, and wines that are at one with the dishes and service that is friendly but not obtrusive. Décor introduces warmth into proceedings with bold primary colours cleverly muted to balance each other and provide the relaxed atmosphere one hopes to find in a place that takes its clientele seriously.

Located in the former site of Quartier Vert, Picture House East is a lively restaurant with a tapas bar and a private gallery dining room. This is a place where customers can enjoy a luxurious three course meal or happily while away unaccounted for hours over cream teas or a drink with friends in surroundings that soothe and please. An Anglo-Mediterranean menu is complemented by a Spanish tapas menu, and wines that are at one with the dishes and service that is friendly but not obtrusive.

Décor introduces warmth into proceedings with bold primary colours cleverly muted to balance each other and provide the relaxed atmosphere one hopes to find in a place that takes its clientele seriously.

Emphasis is placed on the local produce, renowned for its freshness and flavours and Owner/Head chef Nick Armitage is not slow to take advantage of the unexpected source or market find. So, it should not come as a total surprise to find seared Scottish scallops with chorizo and green apple puree added without impairing their flavour.

For sheer freshness consider the beetroot and white anchovy salad with soft boiled free range egg. The tapas selection includes feta stuffed bell peppers, manchego cheese and quince, pork and fennel meatballs with tomato sauce, merguez sausage with hummus and harissa, and Valley Smokehouse smoked salmon with beetroot relish and horseradish cream.

Main courses follow the same imaginative route with the Picture House East rare roast beef on hot dripping toast with parsley salad, capers and horseradish. The seafood spaghetti is a delightful mélange of crab, mussels, prawns and scallops, lemon, olive oil and pangrattato.

As you might by now have expected a selection of local artisan cheeses with house chutney and biscuit heads the dessert list, followed closely by coconut and white chocolate brûlée, lemongrass and stem ginger ice cream, and a simply brilliant strawberry and rhubarb crumble.

The whole point about this menu of Nick's is that it never stays the same for long, you can walk in and find the unexpected available without notice, thus increasing the pull food factor to new levels of expectation.

The wine list covers a good range, but it would be asking too much of human nature not to find a strong light shining on the New Zealand wines with which the owner is so familiar. At the bar you could choose from a remarkable array of 40 beers from around the world and spirits, whilst nibbling on plates of tapas?style Spanish pinchos. If you have an occasion to celebrate and decide on something short look no further than the Louis XIII premium cognac.

The truth of the matter is that The Picture House is an individual amongst its own kind, a place made for self-expression and measured indulgence - rather like the cognac.
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