Petone is the new Ponsonby!

I’ve always been a big fan of Petone. It holds fond memories for me.  40+ years ago, I used to hang out here with my Italian grandparents, Aunties and Uncles on their Friday briscola card night. Back then I didn’t speak Italian, but I just loved the social gatherings.. Look how Petone has blossomed since then.Petone hosts many fabulous authentic eateries now; La Bella Italia, Comes and Goes, Seashore Cabaret to name a few. We got to experience Olli and Mi last Friday night. What a treat. Best meal this year. I tell you, it’s right up there with Noble Rot and Shepherd in Wellington, and that’s saying something. I also just read that Bottanix, a European-inspired cafe, will open in the new Palmers Garden Centre, on the Esplanade in August 2018. Lucky Petoneites, they won’t need to travel with gourmet cuisine right on their doorstep.

We met our lovely local friends Dylan (aka Ryan Gosling lookalike) and wife Sarah, who’ve raved about this place to us. We sat on bar stools near the counter, and the place was buzzing and cosy. We were in the bestest of hands of Peter, the maitre’d. He was absolutely outstanding with his service and knowledge, and delightful sense of humour.

The menu is a mix of small and large tapas, small and main plates.  Every single dish and mouthful was just sublime. We tried some venison, polenta balls, seared scallops and the best seafood paella ever.  The flavours of all were exquisite and presentation top-notch. Every dish was either GF, DF or V so very self-explanatory. This is fine dining at reasonable prices. Who cares about the 15 minute drive there and back right? Will travel for food; foodietraveller.

For his main, hubby chose a shellfish green curry in coconut broth which he so loved. I’m a sharer but tonight I so was reluctant to share (but did), my Beef Four Ways; smoked beef cheek, braised short rib, oxtail croquette and roasted bone marrow (great for the gut). It was presented beautifully on a board with some dipping sauces and crunchy chips.  I just didn’t want it to finish. Dylan had the pork fillet with duck fat Pommes Anna, bok choy, pineapple relish, truffle oil and hoisin. It was nice but I was in heaven with my own dish. Sarah had a delish wontellini; wontons with goat’s cheese and various different mushrooms. Am I making you hungry? I’m making myself hungry! We certainly didn’t need any sides.

I normally like to peruse the wine list and order as I just seem to score everytime. However we left the choice up to Peter. A man after my own heart, he chose a Montelpulciano. I caved and had a small glass and the boys finished it off. Peter changed up the second bottle which was Portuguese and the boys really enjoyed that. Sarah is with child, so she had a few of these most delicious mint mocktails. We forgot to ask the name.

Sarah and Dylan split the chocolate fondant with blood orange gelato. Hubby and I dived in for one teaspoon each and it was gorgeous. The boys then finished off with an Armagnac, as you do.

Boy oh boy a Lincoln toy, I have to return in October when the seasonal menu changes and when I’ll be able to enjoy a bigger glass of vino or two hopefully. Congrats Olli and Mi, you knocked it out the ballpark.

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