Featured: Whitsunday Times (18/5/17)
IT’S based around one of the most acclaimed authors of the 20th century and now Hemingway’s is open for business – and, if things go to plan, they might just receive similar acclaim in the Whitsunday food scene.”Quality” is how restaurant manager Georgina Madden described the new Abell Point Marina dining experience.From the location to the food to the decor to the staff, every possible step has been taken to ensure Hemingway’s becomes one of the premier restaurants in town.
“It’s going to be a really luxurious dining experience with a cosmopolitan feel,” Ms Madden said.”We’ve got an amazing team and we’ll be aiming to provide that high end classy feel but at the same time it won’t be intimidating. We want to to create a relaxing atmosphere that is accessible for both locals and travellers alike.”
With the idea originating from Abell Point Marina owner Paul Darrouzet, Ms Madden stepped in to manage the restaurant, drawing on her vast experience with venues around the region.
Hemingway’s will offer modern cuisine in a relaxed waterfront setting. After a full renovation, including assembling an incredible team of experienced hospitality staff, the bar and restaurant officially opened to a fully booked opening night on Friday.
Hemingway’s offers an a la carte lunch and dinner menu along with a bar and appetizers for those wanting to enjoy the sunset in style.
Abell Point marketing manager Joscelyn O’Keefe said it was the perfect way to complement the marina.”This is where we are headed with the marina and with our recently accredited five gold anchors, this furthers our vision for the next five years,” she said.”It enables us to offer something different to Sorrento’s and Bohemian Raw Cafe. It gives seamless dining options within the marina itself. It’s a place where people can come and choose from one of three great places.”
Ms Madden said it was really heartening to be able to offer Whitsunday locals something new and that Hemingway’s was something to help rebuild the area and the community and help push the region as a foodie destination.
“If we can make food one of the reasons people come to the Whitsundays, why wouldn’t we?” Ms O’Keefe added.
Hemingway’s will offer top quality dining with a variety of international influences.
“We definitely went for that kind of Mediterranean feel,” head chef Matthew Dixon said.
“Our biggest thing in the kitchen was to use as much local produce as we can and keep it in the community. You’ve got the Bowen mangoes, one of the best mangoes in the world, to Whitsunday caught prawns, fresh from our waters. We also tried to follow Hemingway’s path with our food influences from places like Cuba, South Africa and Italy and we’ve taken that and mixed it into our menu.”
“Oysters are a big thing on the menu because that was one of Hemingway’s favourite cuisines. Seafood was a big inspiration here but we also have a lot of other things on the menu as well with things like our South African short rib.
“Then we’ve got our soon-to-be famous dessert – an edible cigar. We tried to recreate that so we made an edible chocolate called the “the night cap.” It’s matched with an ole smokey whiskey..”
Then of course there will be their cocktails, wine and beer menu.
“Yes – there is a Hemingway (on the cocktail menu) but we will put a twist on it,” Ms Madden said.
“We are going to have some really nice upmarket wines and are going to focus on craft beers. Somewhere down the line we’re planning on having our own Hemingway beer.”
Mr Dixon said being a hospitality town, tastes were adapting with the popularity of cooking television shows.
“Expectations are higher and it gives us a chance with this venue to create a place where we can have nice, high quality food and it’s a theme that goes throughout the entire restaurant from the forks and knives to the fixtures and fittings,” he said.
Hemingway’s is currently open for lunch and dinner and is open through the day with bookings recommended to avoid missing out.