Gregory Llewellyn and Naomi Hart of The Gretz. Picture / Supplied.

Hartsyard's Southern Charm

Gregory Llewellyn and Naomi Hart of Sydney restaurant Hartsyard are heading to Auckland for Restaurant Month

Gregory Llewellyn loves “greasy, salty, fatty” food; Naomi Hart loves salads. But that hasn’t stopped the married couple from successfully joining forces on Hartsyard, the popular modern American restaurant they run in Newtown, Sydney where he cooks and she’s front of house.

Now the couple are heading across the ditch for Auckland Restaurant Month, where they’ll collaborate with malt and wheat beer Inedit Damm and Marvel Grill at the latter’s Wynyard Quarter establishment next week. On the menu is a slice of rural Americana in the form of hushpuppies (a type of corn fritter), scones (no jam or cream here) and oyster po’ boys, inspired by the deep South.

Recipe: Haystard Oyster Po'Boys

He and Australian Naomi met while working at a restaurant in New York, where he was the chef, and she a waitress pursuing a career in musical theatre. A restaurant and two daughters later, they’ve since opened American-style bar The Gretz.

Naomi is the first to admit some of their signature dishes — icecream-stuffed doughnuts, mac ’n’ cheese — aren’t exactly part of the wellbeing zeitgeist. Then there’s Gregory’s famous buttermilk fried chicken, which takes three days to make. (A simpler recipe appears in their new cookbook, Fried Chicken & Friends.)

But Hartsyard also does lighter options, including a mushroom and artichoke salad, and broad beans charred on the barbie.

“Barbecue is not pretentious,” Gregory says. “You get out of it what you put in.”

• Auckland Restaurant Month starts this weekend. Viva is giving away two tickets to the Hartsyard event on August 4 and 5, featuring canapes, cocktails and four courses with matching beverages. See Viva.co.nz/competitions to enter. Tickets are $150, email info@marvelgrill.co.nz to buy. For tickets to other events go to heartofthecity.co.nz/restaurant-month

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New Zealand Herald

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