Metro Top 50 Restaurants 2017: Baduzzi

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Smart Dining—Italian/American

Enter through the lipstick-red front door, set one street back from the waterfront, and discover Paul Izzard Design’s chic dining room, where solid oak, marble and olivey-brown leather coalesce. Baduzzi means “meatball” in Sicilian, but disregard preconceptions — Ben Bayly’s polpettes use proteins like Fiordland crayfish and wild red deer, as well as beef and lamb. Beyond Italian-American classics such as handmade pasta and exquisite antipasti are inventive wood-fired meat dishes, plenty of seafood and six vegetarian options, not to mention a separate kids’ menu. The lengthy wine list is big on Southern Italian reds, echoing the matrilineage of Californian-born owner Michael Dearth. His heritage comes through most, though, in the warmth and generosity of Baduzzi; you’ll want to make it one of your own dining traditions.

A favourite dish
Fiordland crayfish meatballs with pancetta, chickpeas and pecorino.

What it offers
Shared-plate options / Fixed-price meals / Good seating outside / Good for vegetarians / Free-range chicken and/or pork / Takes large groups / Craft beer selection / Good for kids

Hours—L D 7 Days
Bookings—Yes, for lunch; also dinner for 8+ people
Chef—Ben Bayly, executive chef; Glen File, head chef 

Cnr Jellicoe St & Fish Lane
North Wharf
Ph 309-9339

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