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May 25, 2016 Restaurants

Click here for the Metro Top 50 Restaurants for 2017


What makes it special?: The best restaurant on Auckland’s waterfront is tucked one street back, but you still get to wander by the sea before and/or after dining.

Behind the scenes: Owner Michael Dearth is from California, but you’re more likely to recognise the vibe of Baduzzi from movies set in New York. Meatballs, right? A sense of family history. A flurry of staff in serviceable brown aprons quick to attend to your every need. Wines to really appreciate. Dearth and executive chef Ben Bayly drew the line at red-check tablecloths, though, thank goodness. Bayly’s dishes are like culinary poems, each one inviting you to discover its secrets and savour the moment of its eating.  Meatballs? Yes, but not as you may know them. Hand-made pasta and gorgeous salads, too. And whatever you do, leave room for dessert!

A favourite dish: Fiordland crayfish meatballs with lardo di colonnata, savoy cabbage and pecorino.

What it offers: Shared-plate options / Fixed-price meals / Good for vegetarians / Good seating outside / Takes large groups / Craft beer selection / Good for kids

Smart Dining
Yes, for lunch; also dinner for 9+ people
Price: $$
Ben Bayly, executive chef; Glen File, head chef

Cnr Jellicoe St and Fish Lane, North Wharf. Ph 309-9339,
Hours: Lunch and Dinner 7 days. $$

Finalist, Best Chef: Ben Bayly 

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In the Autumn 2024 issue of Metro we celebrate the best of Tāmaki Makaurau — 100 great things about life in Auckland, including our favourite florist, furniture store, cocktail, basketball court, tree, make-out spot, influencer, and psychic. The issue also includes the Metro Wine Awards, the battle over music technology company Serato, the end of The Pantograph Punch, the Billy Apple archives, a visit to Armenia, viral indie musician Lontalius, the state of fine dining, and the time we bombed West Auckland to kill a moth. Plus restaurants, movies, politics, astrology, and more.

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