A couple of Coastie blokes have sent Davistown’s culinary stakes through the roof with the opening of their first restaurant – The Dart and Feather – on the suburb’s quiet waterfront.
Logan Dart (the dart) and his long-time mate and business partner Peter Featherby (the feather) have brought decades of experience from restaurants all over Sydney and the world to the Central Coast – and it shows in their effortless delivery of exceptional cuisine.
You might recognise the duo from their East Gosford café Fahrenheit, or perhaps even from their time at Freshwater’s Pilu restaurant, working with hatted Sardinian chef Giovanni Pilu.
It’s the latter connection that will excite any foodies who have tried Pilu’s famous suckling pig.
It’s available in all its succulent, crackling glory to share between two for just $55 on The Dart and Feather’s dinner menu.
That’s around half what you’ll pay at Pilu but with salsa verde and fennel sausages, it looks and tastes as good as the original.
It might sound like a pommy pub but don’t be fooled by the name, The Dart and Feather is a chic restaurant with an exquisite culinary offering.
With its grey and white exterior, neat shrubs and location a few paces from Brisbane Water, the venue looks like a beautifully renovated waterfront property.
After receiving a spruce up from local interior design maestro Deborah Lam, the inside is dripping with old world glamour.
While the effect of deep blue velvet and gold chrome is one of opulence, the restaurant itself is casual and relaxed.
Formerly known as Stillwaters, Green Point lads Logan and Pete took over the space last winter and opened the doors in October with the addition of a Gatsby-esque bar and a new outdoor deck that comes to life with live music on Sundays.
It also makes for a nice perch for a drink with a view any other time – there are always pelicans paddling by in the fast moving water, ducks dawdling in the lush grass as well as watercraft whizzing past in the busy waterway.
The bar menu features some of the best value and freshest oysters around as well as top notch antipasto from Serrano jamon to truffle-infused ricotta.
Offering an eclectic selection of cuisines and flavours, Logan says the menu is a mixture of some of his and Pete’s favourite things from the restaurants where they’ve worked and the places they’ve visited.
There’s the aforementioned suckling pig from Pilu as well as pizzas topped with puttanesca, pancetta, sopressa and sausage, inspired by another of Giovanni’s former Sydney eateries, Cavallino.
The lobster caesar salad and sweet potato gnocchi offer a twist on Italian classics, Francophiles will love the sous vide Angus striploin with a bordelaise jus and for more exotic palettes, there’s black sesame crusted tuna with soba noodles served with a mirin and miso vinaigrette.
Ask about the fish of the day – whether it’s Japanese-style salmon with pippies, soba noodles, forest mushrooms, samphire and egg in a soy soup or served with pickled vegetables and horseradish, it won’t disappoint.
Tantalising sides include a creamy baked cauliflower gratin with smoked scarmorza cheese and a colourful heirloom tomato salad with buffalo mozzarella.
If there’s room for dessert, try some of Pete’s housemade ice creams – it might be a zesty and refreshing tequila and lime sorbet or a sweet scoop of Baileys gelato.
Mains are priced from around $16 to $32 on the lunch and dinner menu.
The wine menu doesn’t appear to have any rose by the glass but Logan doesn’t hesitate to open a bottle of the Hancock & Hancock Grenache anyway – he says it’s delicious and he wants us to try it. That’s just the kind of place The Dart and Feather is. Nothing is too hard and nothing is a drama. The suckling pig is only on the dinner menu but we aren’t the only ones trying it at lunch.
It’s a certain combination of ingredients that come together to make a memorable restaurant experience, and we’re not just talking about what arrives on your plate.
The Dart and Feather has that magical alchemy which combines good food, good vibes, good hospitality and a good setting into a great dining experience.
The Dart and Feather is open Thursday to Sunday including a big breakfast menu on the weekends.
Coastal Chic Tip: Check out Central Coast Ferries to see if you can arrive in style by water and enjoy a few drinks over lunch