The Pavilions, 31 Tyler St, Britomart. Ph 368-9487, britomart.org/ortolana.
Breakfast, lunch & dinner 7 days. $$
Finalist, restaurateur of the year: Scott Brown & Jackie Grant
It’s a jewel nestled in the centre of the Britomart precinct, quite literally twinkling with the pretty fairy lights strung up outside and dozens of hand-blown glass baubles artfully lighting the interior. The menu is particularly notable for the fact that much of the produce used comes from the Kumeu organic farm of owners the Hip Group. What’s done with that produce by chefs such as Gavin Doyle (pictured) is never boring, but nor is it show-offy; it’s exciting but approachable bistro fare and you can access it all day every day. There’s always a thrilling amount of flavour and texture on each plate, and with no heavy reductions or thick sauces in sight, even red-meat dishes have a pleasing lightness. Save room for dessert, which comes from Milse next door and will have you plotting a hot dessert date.
A favourite dish: Gnudi, served with heirloom tomato and “tree nuts”.
Shared-plate options / Good for vegetarians / Free-range chicken and/or pork / Good seating outside / Craft beer selection /