Cuisine that runs deep – STILLWATER Review
Restaurant: Stillwater – Launceston
Location: 2 Bridge Rd, Launceston Tasmania
Chef: Craig Will (Executive Chef and Co-Owner)
Our Tasmanian travels came full circle in January as we arrived back in Launceston after a whirlwind food trek to the (a rather smokey) North, Centre and South of the island. This lovely river-city is home to the Stillwater restaurant. The restaurant is located inside the historic Ritchie’s [flour] Mill constructed in the 1830s and on the bank of the Tamar River. This day was sunny, warm with a hint of smoke from the Tasmania fires started by lightning strikes the week before. We arrive at the beautifully restored Mill and easily find a park. We are greeted by the friendly start and migrate to the centre of the restaurant where we could view the original timber rafters and the river. It’s a good start.
Stillwater’s Executive Chef, Craig Will is passionately dedicated to showcasing seasonal Tasmania produce from local suppliers including olive oil, wild seafood, beef, wallaby and organic vegetables. He has been at the helm of both Stillwater and Black Cow Bistro (another Stillwater restaurant) since 2010 and continues to draw upon his Tasmanian roots and serve up locally grown, sourced and created dishes to his diners.
Our meal was a four hours long by the time we finished. It was a relaxing and enjoyable experience and the menu was a great combination of dishes from light to heavy, vegetarian to a pretty robust steak sandwich (not for the faint-hearted). Now as some may know, I’d be vegetarian if meat didn’t taste so good, so it comes as no surprise that my highlight dish was the stand-out Zucchini ribbon pasta, vine-ripened tomatoes, basil and peccorino ($18) for entree and the Slow cooked soft poached egg, sunbutter, kale, quinoa, avocado, beetroot and spouts ($27) for the mains. Vegetarians rejoice! It was superb. Less so was the pretty cranky looking Stillwater Reuben, roasted topside, chipotle mayonnaise, sauerkraut, dill pickle, Swiss cheese and frites ($24) but my guest who ordered it assured me it was full blown comfort food wrapped up in a steak bun (check the photos).
Craig Will’s little Mill has earned its reputation as one of Launceston’s best restaurants and stands toe to toe with some of Tasmania’s finest (The Source, Franklin). Stillwater does run deep with its ‘Tassie to the Table’ philosophy which it has taken to heart and delivers it daily to diner’s plates.