The eating action in and around Byron Bay is hotting up. Not only is Justin Hemmes opening Merivale's first restaurant there this year, Maurice Terzini has confirmed his Belongil Beach Italian Food is now on course to open in October.
Terzini and Hemmes aren't the only Sydney operators headed north. Don Pedros, the back street Mexican in the smart Sydney suburb of Paddington, has opened in recent weeks on Byron's Fletcher Street, with the lamb ribs with chimichurri sauce and chilli margaritas early favourites with the northern NSW crowd.
Out of town, up in the hills in Bangalow, chef Nick Stanton has joined the party. Most recently in Melbourne (Leonardo's and the now-closed Ramblr), Stanton has opened the cutely named Ciao Mate on Bangalow's high street.