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Meals with Zeal 

Bistro serves up New Zealand cuisine

GRAND OPENING: November 28, 2004. Queenstown Bistro has two locations in New Zealand, where it originated. The restaurant also has another United States location in Columbia, SC.

OWNER: Andy Gao. Manager: Curtis Hines.

AMBIENCE: Warm colors and a beautiful oak wood floor are accented with artwork from various periods. The high ceiling gives what Manager Curtis Hines calls, "an open area look complemented by soft tones and an inviting feel."

SEATING: Seats about 174. There is one main dining area and two private dining areas, both available for private parties. The bar is what Hines considers a "business persons' bar, a gentleman's bar, or a couple's bar due its large size and upscale feel." Booth seating is also available in the bar area.

WINE LIST: 40 different wines offered by the bottle, four offered by the glass. Bottles of wine not on the menu are also for sale.

TYPE OF CUISINE: Entrees range from seafood and steak to pork, lamb, and chicken. The cuisine is obviously New Zealand influenced, with an emphasis on seafood and lamb, a food the country is famous for. Hines, who also has experience in the culinary aspect of the restaurant business, labels the food as, "Tremendous. The seafood is tremendous and we are famous for our lamb. The first time I tried the food, it completely blew me away." The cuisine has a strong Asian influence, with a small twist of French influence. Chef's specialties include the Crispy Coconut Shrimp, Fish Coconut Soup, and Mango Chicken, and for those who like it spicy, Trio is the recommended dish.

PRICE LIST: Starters range from Potstickers ($5.25) to Oyster Roast ($8.95). Salads range from a Papaya Salad ($7.95) to a Shrimp Pineapple Salad ($8.95). Steak ranges from a 15oz. New Zealand Steak ($15.95) to Lemon Grass Filet Mignon ($14.95). Lunch runs about $6.95 to $8.95, dinner runs about $11.95 to $17.95. Dessert ranges from cheesecake to a Creamy Banana Roll or a slice of Chocolate Cake for $3.95. A children's menu is available. Hines also stresses, "The portion sizes are huge!"

BONUS: A free birthday meal is given with proof from a Driver's License.

HOURS: Open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. Monday through Thursday 11am until 10pm, Friday 11am until 11pm, Saturday noon until 11pm and Sunday noon until 10pm.

RESERVATIONS: Reservations accepted.

RECOMMMENDED PARKING: No worries, there's a parking lot.

CREDIT CARDS: MasterCard, Visa and American Express accepted.


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