82 Hinemoa St, Birkenhead. Ph 419-9082, eightpointtwo.co.nz.
Dinner 7 days. $$
Best short drinks list
Bistro classics are the mainstay of Birkenhead’s Eight.Two, where the inestimably charming Lindsay Swannack looks after his customers with care and aplomb and Grant Mathie runs the stoves with an enthusiastic sense of flavour. Recently, he was serving lamb with goats’ cheese, truffle, caperberries, pear and “wild arugula” (rocket), while the market fish came adorned with chorizo, pinenuts, feta, tiger prawn and basil. The beautifully restored villa on graceful old Hinemoa St is the local place for a lovely night out. The fitout is white, which means it’s full of light. In summer, a most elegant rear courtyard offers classic Auckland al fresco dining, while in the colder months, when Eight.Two closes the windows and doors, softens the lights and warms itself up, it achieves a delightful intimacy.
A favourite dish: Poached quince butterscotch tart served with Frangelico and vanilla ice cream.
Fixed-price meals / Free-range chicken and/or pork / Good seating outside / Private room / Takes larger groups / Craft beer selection