Good Food Guide - - Wellington -

Now a Welling­ton in­sti­tu­tion, Ortega de­fines ca­sual fine din­ing. Step­ping through the door here is like vis­it­ing old friends – you feel in­stantly cared for and at home. The ‘shack’ still has what it takes to shine, largely thanks to its crew and its ex­cel­lent food. Owner/ som­me­lier Davey Mcdon­ald’s gen­uine charm mixed with his en­cy­clopaedic drinks list makes him a true lo­cal leg­end. But, cru­cially, he has passed this on to his staff, who are all a plea­sure to be served by. Since it’s not tied to any par­tic­u­lar dogma, Ortega’s kitchen can sail off in any di­rec­tion and there’s a sense of fun in what it turns out. The menu re­mains cur­rent, skil­fully ex­e­cuted and un­stuffy. Any eatery that puts cray­fish, scram­bled eggs and brioche on the menu “af­ter we had it as a staff din­ner one time” has got to be worth re­peated vis­its.

16 Ma­jorib­anks St, Mt Vic­to­ria, 04 382 9559, ortega.co.nz Din­ner Tues-sat; mains $33.90-38.90

IN BRIEF Noth­ing fishy about this love(d) shack

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