Nestled in the heart of Nelson Bay, Zest is a sanctuary of fine dining in the countryside. The pastel green decor creates a congenial atmosphere, matched by a sleek modern design and local artwork. Try the inspired twice-baked goat’s cheese soufflé with walnut sauce, or rabbit wrapped in prosciutto with globe artichokes and drizzled with a warm Italian dressing. Guests can be forgiven for forgetting they are still in the middle of regional Australia – this is a restaurant that easily rivals city establishments.
16 Stockton St; (02) 4984 2211; open Wed–Fri for lunch and Mon–Sat for dinner