Long lunching at Daphnes Taverna
Ponsonby Road’s Daphnes Taverna recently welcomed Hayden Phiskie as its new head chef. He’s overseen an evolution of the menu from Greek to more broadly Mediterranean and European fare. This weekend, the team is kicking off a long-lunch offering that gets you a glass of prosecco and special sharing feast that’s only available on Sundays – all for $60 per person. Book in this weekend and you’ll be served a wide-ranging menu that includes flatbread with whipped ricotta and fennel salt, burrata with beetroot and almonds, mussel tagliatelle, and mille-feuille for dessert. Book here.

Burgers and beers in Wellington this August
This year, Visa Wellington on a Plate is divided into two main events – part one happened in May, and part two takes place in August with a focus on two things that pair perfectly: burgers and beers. (Two-day craft beer bonanza Beervana will also run during the festival period, on August 18 and 19.) From August 11 to 27, Burger Wellington presented by Garage Project will see venues across the region create a signature burger in hope of being voted the winner. Vaibhav Vishen of Chaat Street won Burger Wellington 2022 with his vegetarian Dabeli burger – and part of the prize was a collaboration with top brewery Garage Project. The result, the All India Permit – a spiced hazy pale ale that’s brewed with pilsner malt, wheat and crystal oats, plus Mosaic hops for a tropical hit – launched this week. It’s got notes of pomegranate seeds, dried green mango, tamarind and Indian spices. Find it at Chaat Street’s Auckland and Wellington venues, and all Garage Project stores.

Truffle season is here
Keep an eye out for restaurants taking advantage of the start of truffle season with special dishes. On our radar: Sidart, which has fresh truffles on hand for shaving onto a dish of your choice. At Esther, the Truffle Love lunch menu is on from Wednesday to Friday between 12pm and 3pm in June and July (and there are extra truffle specials on the food and cocktail menus). And Onslow is getting in on the truffle action with shaved black Périgord truffles on its twice-baked souffle, available for lunch for a limited time.

Amano’s putting on free pastries
Set an alarm: the team at Britomart is partnering with bakery-restaurant Amano and giving away 500 free almond croissants to sweeten the shortest day of the year. Head down to Takutai Square on Wednesday June 21 at 8am to try your luck – that’s worth getting up early for.

Everyday Coffee is now open in Sandringham
Stop in for a bagel and a brew at Sandringham’s newest cafe, Everyday Coffee. The warm, wood-lined space is the new neighbourhood venture from a cafe-savvy couple recently returned from Melbourne – and they’re all about creating a welcoming space for one and all. We visited the new opening last week – read about it here.

AF Drinks gets arty for a good cause
Since launching The Curious AF Bottle Shop last year, Auckland-based entrepreneur Lisa King continues to innovate. Her booze-free brand AF Drinks has just released a new limited-edition series of artistically decorated packs, in collaboration with IHC – an advocacy organisation for people living with intellectual disabilities. Each of the 31-drink packs is covered in one of four artworks by New Zealand artists with intellectually disabilities: Jordan Chow, Michael Nathan and Cherie Mellsop. For every pack sold, AF will donate $20 to support artists through the IHC Art Awards. af-drinks.com

Coming soon: Aotearoa’s highest bar and champagne lounge
Skycity has partnered with Moet & Chandon to open Skybar which, when it opens, is expected to be New Zealand’s highest bar. Opening next Friday, June 23, on level 50 of Auckland’s Sky Tower, the venue will have 360-degree views of the Tāmaki skyline and a hefty selection of premium champagne. The cocktail list will be inspired by Auckland’s surroundings – like the Aoraki with Central Otago riesling, honey and pink grapefruit – and sharing plates will celebrate local ingredients. skycityauckland.co.nz

Eat, Drink, Play Wellington returns in July
Shrug off the winter chill as the capital heats up with its fun Eat, Drink, Play festival from July 1. There are many events, shows and special menus to check out, including the Mid Winter Jazz Fest at The Realm in Hataitai and Christmas in July at Lambton Quay’s Old Bailey pub. See the full line-up online.