Cuisine Article Lead - narrow
Cuisine Article Lead - narrow 

1650 Alpine Way Crackenback, New South Wales 2627

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Opening hours 7-10.30am,Tues-Sat 5pm-10pm
Features Wheelchair access, Private dining, Bar
Prices Expensive (mains over $40)
Chef Jean-Michel Gerst
Seats 90
Payments AMEX, Diner's Club, Mastercard, Visa, eftpos
Phone 02 6451 3249

Chef Greg Pieper and his crew live in the mountains year-round, so they don't run the risk of losing good staff like snow melt at the end of the season. Pieper previously held one hat at the North Coast's one-hatted Bamboo, and he continues that standard with his European-leaning menu. Fillets of pink, tender pan-fried local rainbow trout are touched with the salty tang of pancetta batons, the sweet acidity of poached apple and the creamy richness of pureed fennel. Pork cooked two ways is equally rewarding, the cheeks braised 18 hours into beautifully pliant strands, and served with an earthy jowl terrine topped with sweetly seared scallops. Starters also hit the mark, from well-rendered pork belly with puy lentils to a chicken liver and blueberry parfait that's more elegant than the combination suggests, albeit stingy on the sourdough croutes. Polished staff add extra lustre to this sweeping glass-encased room, whose stunning lakeside views are, alas, wasted after dark.