2 Bridge Road, Launceston
Contemporary Tasmanian cuisine in Launceston
Overlooking the beautiful still waters of the Tamar River, Stillwater Restaurant is an ode to the Tamar Valley region. Housed inside an old 1830s flour mill, it is a celebration of Tasmania’s historic architecture and local produce.
When Rod Ascui and Kim Seagram opened Stillwater in 2000, Tasmania’s restaurants seemed to stick to a particular cuisine. The pair saw so much potential for contemporary Tasmanian cuisine, showcasing the incredible produce they had on their doorstep. In 2010, long-time employees, James and Bianca Welsh, and Craig Will officially joined the pair as co-owners, injecting additional youth, energy and professionalism to the operation.
Born and bred in Tasmania, Craig is the Executive Chef of both Stillwater and its sister restaurant, Black Cow Bistro. Having begun as an apprentice at the Hotel Grand Chancellor in Hobart, Craig is extremely passionate about the produce grown and raised around the state. As an advocate for the ‘less is more’ philosophy, he aims to craft his menu in a way that lets the ingredients speak for themselves.
Thanks to an abundance of modern Australian influences, as well as access to some of the best produce in the country, Craig is able to create beautiful, seasonal dishes of uncompromising quality. Nearly all of his ingredients are locally sourced, from the asparagus and butter to the wallaby and abalone.
Stillwater prides itself on its style of elegant casual dining; it has all the attributes and service of fine dining, without the fuss. Craig styles his menu in a flexible way, describing dishes by size rather than course. Thus, Stillwater diners can choose to either select a couple of courses for themselves or share a selection of dishes amongst a group.
Whilst the menu is constantly changing, Stillwater diners can expect a selection of decadent yet refined culinary experiences. Creations include Cape Grim Beef Tartare with smoked tomato mayonnaise, black olive and ciabatta, and seared Tasmanian Scallops with Mount Gnomon chorizo, charred cauliflower and potato foam.
As a complement to Craig’s delicious food, Stillwater has a renowned wine list, collated by their award-winning Sommelier and co-owner, James. It also has an element of seasonality to it, with James constantly on the lookout for drops from both emerging and well-established winemakers, as well as some international offerings.
The beautifully restored mill on the river only adds to the experience of dining at Stillwater. A revamp has allowed for the modern restaurant to snuggle perfectly into the light- filled room, whilst still showcasing the mill’s original wooden beams and view of the river below.
Just like the menu, each element of the restaurant has a story behind it – tables are locally made and the Oregon timber beams arrived via convict ships when the mill was being built.
Supporting and promoting quality food producers, artists and artisans is central to Stillwater’s ethos, with its providore offerings ranging from hampers to food products and platters.
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