This idyllic spot is made for long Italian lunches – while away the afternoon on the terrazzo in summer, sampling from the selection of rosé, arneis or viburno from the vineyard, or at a long table with the roaring fire inside during winter. Work your way leisurely across the menu, starting with contorni and antipasti – the likes of thin ribbons of grilled pumpkin dressed with oregano, and roasted portobello mushrooms with rosemary – before moving on to pasta or the secondi dishes of meat and fish, cooked with skill. The Italian waitstaff are charming and the valley setting, with its large garden, is a delight. The newly opened La Locanda is a delightful addition, serving as a tasting room for the winery as well as offering a selection of antipasti and menu items.
205 Awaawaroa Rd, Awaawaroa Bay, 09 372 2148, podericrisci.co.nz Lunch Fri-mon, dinner Fri-sat (winter hours); mains $24.50-$34.50
Traditional Italian IN BRIEF food in a charming setting