New owner Merivale has officially opened the doors to its new dining experience at Narooma's Whale Inn.
Chez Dominique is described as an "intimate farm-to-table pop-up" in collaboration with local French-Australian chefs and Chez Dominique founders Elsa Marie and Julian May.
Justin Hemmes' Merivale group confirmed the purchase of Narooma's boutique hotel and restaurant, The Whale in June.
The purchase followed that of The Quarterdeck, which was Mr Hemmes' first acquisition outside Sydney, announced in March.
While accommodation at The Whale has remained open, the restaurant underwent a brief closure and refresh before its official reopening this weekend.
Drawing on humble French roots and creative seasonal cooking, the menu celebrates South Coast produce.
Having moved to the area last year to learn more about organic farming and to give their food a unique meaning, Ms Marie and Mr May said they are proud to have built close relationships with local farmers, producers and artisans with whom they will create the ever-evolving menu.
Vegetables and fruits are picked from four local farms the pair cherish in Moruya - Borrowed Ground, Queen Street, Old Mill Road and Stepping Stone - supplied by local green grocer Southlands, and harvested from The Whale Inn's own kitchen garden.
Free-range eggs are from Bega Valley, free-range chickens from Camden Valley and dairy is provided by Tilba Real Dairy. Grass-fed heritage breed pork, beef, quails and ducks are courtesy of Martin's Ridge and Tathra Place.
"We have fallen in love with all of the incredible ingredients the Eurobodalla Shire has to offer. We have a strong passion for local, high-quality, sustainable produce and wine, and can't wait to share our cooking with the local community," the pair said.
Merivale's Jenn Black and team are delivering the restaurant service, delivered in harmony with Chez Dominique's aesthetic and approach to cooking.
In true French-bistro style, the menu is written up daily on blackboards and will change frequently depending on the fresh produce available.
Think Narooma oysters with pepper berry mignonette; Tathra Place Farm Maremma pastured quail salad with brussel sprouts and caramelised walnuts; locally-caught fish of the day in escabeche with carrot, fennel and coriander; and Martin Ridge Farm rolled pork shoulder with roasted carrots, chards and mustard sauce.
To finish, there is Elsa and Julian's favourite Rhum Baba with chantilly cream and enjoyed with a specially curated rum degustation, if so desired.
When it comes to drinks, Merivale's Victor Costa (Bar Topa, The Paddington and will's) has curated a cocktail list with flavours befitting the coastal surrounds.
The wine list has been designed to align with Chez Dominique's food philosophy and features sustainable and minimal intervention winemakers and organic and biodynamic wines, alongside classic, easy drinking Australian and international drops.
The pop-up will run for the next few months, accommodation remains open and plans for the evolution of the property will be announced in due course.
Chez Dominique at The Whale Inn (102 Wagonga St, Narooma) is open for dinner only, Wednesday-Saturday, 6-10pm
The Ocean Lounge is open for snacks and cocktails, 5-10pm.