Casita Miro (3)
Lunch Wednesday-Sunday; dinner Friday & Saturday.
Runner-up: Best Rural Restaurant
At Casita Miro, in the Miro Wines vineyard on Waiheke, they call one of their wines Madame Rouge and another Summer Aphrodisiac. It’s one sign of the ethic of this place, where there is love in the food, titillation in the wine and all manner of (civilised) delights in the service. Start with their astonishingly good honey-roasted olives. If the season is right, try the lamb. Cooked with figs and other rich flavours of the Mediterranean, and falling apart delectably, it is a dish to throw at the heads of half the other chefs in town who think they know what to do with sheepmeat. If you really want to make the most of the experience here, ask proprietor Cat Vosper about her selection of sherries — and settle yourself in. She’s a star, and her staff are great too: Casita Miro is one of only two places we know of on Waiheke that offer consistently great service (the other is Te Whau). $$$
A favourite dish: Portuguese poached fish salad with orange, red onion, egg, pistachios, olives and capers.
Shared-plate options / Fixed-price meal options / Good for vegetarians / Free-range chicken and/or pork / Good seating outside / Takes large groups / Bar / Good for kids