Rustic European Fare arrives in Lorn
It’s official. The quaint and picturesque town of Lorn has won the gastronomy lotto with news that one of the Hunter Valley’s most loved restaurants, Muse Kitchen, will open its beautiful white French doors there this week.
A move that will undoubtedly add to the charm and appeal of this lovely Maitland village. And, one that’s quite providential, with restaurateur/owner Megan Rhoades-Brown celebrating 10 years of serving up delicious fare to diners at Muse Kitchen in the Hunter Valley, just last week.
According to Megan, opening another Muse Kitchen was always the plan and just makes good business sense.
“I like the way two restaurants can work together. It offers diversity and opportunities for your staff that’s hard to offer when you only have one restaurant.”
All the staff will be trained at both venues too, with Head Chef, Josh Gregory and Restaurant Manager, Ralf Gullikers overseeing operations at the Keith Tulloch Winery venue in Pokolbin and Lorn.
“When the opportunity came up [to open Lorn] the first thing I did was go to the staff and ask ‘what do you think about this’ and they all said Yes!”
Megan certainly advocates for a team culture, from the kitchen to the front of house, a fact which has greatly attributed to the Pokolbin restaurant’s success.
Many of the staff have been with Muse Kitchen for a long time and that kind of loyalty shows in the consistent, go-the-extra-mile service you receive there.
And what can we expect from the dining experience at Lorn? Megan tells me the offering will be slightly different to Pokolbin, but no less welcoming.
“Lorn will be a more casual restaurant. There won’t be a fixed number of courses. We want it to be a place you can visit two or three times a week.”
After getting a sneak-taste of Josh’s menu and spending some time in this lovely new space, which by the way, is all Megan’s design, I'm betting Muse Kitchen at Lorn will be a Maitland favourite in no time.
For starters today, Josh and sous-chef Tarrant have prepared a mouth-watering charcuterie board complete with a selection of cured meats, pâté and other equally delectable items.
Josh gives me the run down.
“When we started putting this whole thing together what we really wanted was a big nod to the classics with that homely, French-inspired feel. I’ve got a lot of love for that style of cooking.”
Naturally, when Megan came to Josh with the vision of offering rustic French bistro fare, Josh was on board straight away.
“I did my training in fine dining but I still love food that makes you feel like home.”
For lunch Josh brings out his ‘loose interpretation’ of the classic nicoise salad, quiche, a duck-leg confit served on potato rosti and a basque cheese cake for dessert.
Believe me, everything tastes as good as it looks. Josh notes.
“We always use the best quality local ingredients and then, keep it simple. We ask ourselves all the time, ‘what is going to be the most delicious way to do as little as possible to the dish’.”
Just as exciting as Josh’s menu, is Megan’s plan to open the Lorn restaurant all day on Saturdays.
“We want to go from breakfast, into brunch, into lunch, into afternoon tea, into a wine bar with nibbles and then dinner.”
Bring it on.
Muse Kitchen in Lorn will be open from Wednesday to Sunday from 8.00am to 4.00pm with a special dinner service on Saturday night.
The restaurant officially opens on Wednesday 2 September. For reservations, email [email protected]
Happy dining Lorn!