280 Karangahape Rd
(09) 373 4778
Wednesday - Monday
4pm - late
Apero is the sort of place that becomes a regular habit, which is just what owners Mo and Leslie intend. For them this place has been a long time in the making. Mo is a sommelier, Leslie a chef, and for years they worked at some of the best restaurants in town (Sidart, Merediths and The Grove to name a few), then, in late 2014, they struck out on their own and created a warm and welcoming wine bar that offers beautiful food and wine without fuss or pretention.
It’s a long, narrow space made cosy with orginal brick walls and warm wooden furniture (built by Leslie’s Dad, who came out from France to help with the fit-out). Menus hang conveniently on hooks above each table, which means you’re never far from your next glass of wine. The list is carefully chosen by Mo, so if you’re not sure what to order I’d recommend just letting him make the decision for you – he has many favourites.
Leslie’s menu is a picture of French-style simplicity and perfection. Everything is made in house, from the sausage served by the 1/4 metre to the stuffed olives. You get a little amuse bouche on arrival, and then you can dive straight in with the latest special. I love the goats cheese and Kamahi honey croquettes. They’re served in a tiny, adorable terracotta pots and they taste like France – the golden panko and almond crumb giving way to a warm, creamy filling with a hint of rosemary and thyme. Perfection. The charcuterie board is a go to – pork rillette and duck parfait, or whatever Les has made lately, served with mustard, pickles, chutney, chorizo, a paper bag filled with fresh bread from La Voie Francaise and a serving of soft salted butter. This is a style of food that celebrates age-old perfect flavour combinations with dishes created using wonderful local ingredients. You can’t go wrong.
Mo and Les so clearly enjoy Apero, which makes it very very easy for you to the same. Come here twice and you’ll feel like a regular, and then you’ll realise you’ve come every week for as long as you can remember. It happened to me, it happened to my friends, it will happen to you.