June heralds the beginning of winter but that's no reason to stay indoors, because Winter F.A.W.C! Is back and, with it, F.A.W.C! by 5.

Until July 9 you can dine your way around Hawke's Bay with spectacular deals from some of the region's top restaurants, cafes and bars.

F.A.W.C! by 5 is all about food, wine and excellent value for money with menu selections in $5 offerings.

So grab some friends and make a date to enjoy some delicious food, wine and beer at one of the participating venues.

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I will be previewing some of the meals so you know what you have to look forward to.

F.G. Smith, 9a Ossian St, Ahuriri, Napier. Beef Short Rib, chimichurri, smoked potato and red onion, warm brioche roll served with garage project beer.

There's nothing more satisfying on a cold winter's day than mopping up some delicious gravy with bread.

This dish is hearty winter fare at its best. Beautifully cooked tender braised beef, plenty of red onion, wedges of smoky yummy potatoes, warm fresh bread and lashings of a suburb sauce.

I felt all warm and cosy inside after using the bread to mop up every bit of sauce I could.
The garage beer is a perfect match - the larger is crisp and refreshing.

Head chef Roget De Jager said they wanted their F.A.W.C! by 5 dish to be rustic and something that would fill you up and satisfy you on a winter's day.

"The beef is braised overnight with a dry rub on it - about 12 to 15 hours. Then it is reheated in the same jus. The potatoes are steamed and then smoked," Mr De Jager said.
He said the chimichurri freshens up the dish.

Mr De Jager, who is from South Africa, has been working at F.G. Smith's for just over a year. He came to NZ after working in Dubai. He says the biggest difference he noticed about cooking in Hawke's Bay was that menus revolved around the season.

"In Dubai all food is available all year round. Here you have to think seasonal. We use local fresh produce. I love being able to walk outside to the garden, especially in summer when it is flourishing, and pick produce to cook with."

He said he had noticed that while diners were still choosing steak quite often they were going away from heavy sauces like mushroom and instead wanting something cleaner and fresher like the chimichurri.

"The other thing that is really popular at the moment is pulled pork."

Mr De Jager certainly nailed his first F.A.W.C! by 5 dish.

The friendly staff made this a very enjoyable dining experience.

To book, phone 06 834 0404.