Nolita's Musket Room Brings New Zealand To You

Nolita's Musket Room is a quick trip to New Zealand

Skip the 18-hour flight. Save the $2,500.

If you want a (comparatively) cheap taste of New Zealand, head to Nolita's new Musket Room. We navigated Kiwi chef-owner Matt Lambert's smart menu, which balances fine-dining technique and personal history. Now boarding all would-be travelers.

Waste Not, Want Not: As a nod to the motherland, Lambert transforms traditional British bread sauce into a lush purée to serve with roasted quail ($13). The dish is also hit with cherries three ways: roasted and pickled Bings, and a glug of the cherry liqueur Heering.

Mussel Memory: Pickled mussels are a staple in New Zealanders' fridges, says Lambert. He submerges bivalves in a gentle cider vinegar gastrique, then uses them as a plucky complement to pan-roasted cod ($29) with crab and English pea purée.

Deer Hunter: Lambert's distant cousin raises deer as livestock. At Musket Room, venison ($32) is sent on a deep dive into the woodsy flavors of gin with salted juniper meringue, roasted fennel and licorice jus.

Dance, Pavlova, Dance: Pavlova is the national dessert of New Zealand. So pastry chef Rob Rohl sets a thin meringue cylinder ($12) upright and loads it with passion-fruit fluff, strawberries and whipped cream, "like any good pav should, ya know?" says Lambert.