A warning: if you eat at the Bantry early in your stay, you may find it hard to go anywhere else. Not that there aren't other good places in Taupo, there are. But the Bantry leads the pack on all fronts. The service is seamless and very warm. The prices aren't too outrageous for a place of this caliber. And the food, oh the food! It hits the mark, from the rich walnut butter that's served with bread at the start of the meal, to the exquisite desserts at the end. The menu changes often but might include fried squid stuffed with arugula, sausage and ricotta; venison with a beet tart and horseradish cream sauce; or succulent pork belly atop lentils and sided by shrimp ravioli with an apple aoli. Bantry is located in a two-story 1950s houses in suburban Taupo, just up from the lake. It contains a number of intimate dining rooms, but we like the outdoor garden tables come summer.