Find Squisito Trattoria in a sun-catching corner site on Herne Bay's Jervois Road.
The neighbourhood destination is from Tony Matches and Buki Prekazi, who over the years have run several well-regarded Auckland venues between them. Prekazi had Local (and its adjoining Laneway bar out back) and Artusi Cucina in Remuera, while Matches was a Jervois Road fixture from the ’90s to around 2009, operating several popular restaurants on the strip.
While “squisito” is an Italian word (meaning “exquisite” or, often, “delicious”), this venue's food is broadly Mediterranean, influenced by Italy. The 46-seater is upbeat, fun and casual, with vibrant walls painted cornflower blue, turquoise green and burnt orange. It catches the best of the afternoon and evening sun with large windows and well-placed outdoor tables.
Roasted duck gnocchi is one of the signatures; it's served with black olives, mushrooms and pecorino, and is best paired with a bottle of wine that you swipe yourself from the huge shelf lining a whole wall. Lemon and prawn risotto with avocado and shaved parmesan is another signature, and you can also order pappardelle with woodfired venison that’s been cooked overnight; market fish with salted lemon risotto; chicken scallopini with prosciutto and vegetables; and a selection of antipasti and small snacks.
There are several pizzas, which are cooked in the Italian-imported oven; you can also order them over the phone and pick them up via a takeaway window on Ardmore Road. Flavours centre on classics done well – a margherita; a salsiccia with pork-and-fennel sausage and wild broccoli; a gamberi with garlic prawns; and a diavola with fior di latte, woodfire-roasted peppers and hot salami.
Phone: No phone
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