3 course menu for $40.
We were seated outside because the tables indoors were fully booked. Under the heaters and draped under a blankets, we sat cosily, watching the people pass and the tourists take photos next to the leaves and huge potted flowers.
My dining companion tonight was feihae, who also accompanied me to last year’s Restaurant Month at Odettes. She’s a great friend; always full of vibrant thoughts, wisdom and humor; animated but not overbearing. Her stories and insight makes people stick around for more.
And so we sat, from 5:30 til 9:30pm, one course after another. Ortolana provided a great ambience for that. The lights and leaves make you forget that you’re right in the bustle of the city centre. They’ve done an excellent job to Britomart. What used to recently be a sparse nondescript area at the bottom of Queen St has now turned into a hub of high fashion retail, big name businesses and the place to wine & dine. It’s the best example in Auckland of turning a place into a people-focused area. That’s what land use can do, but anyway this is not a post on urbanism (more on that in my other blogposts) so let’s get back to the food.
|Entree; garlic, rosemary, mozzarella, rocket piadina. Drink; gin & tonic (grapefruit, mint, chia seed) $10|
|Fazzoletti with buttercup, sage, ricotta, pumpkin seeds, chili|
|Beef short rib with mushroom and fava hummus|
|Gelato on a stick; salted caramel (left) and vanilla brownie (right)|
My thoughts; the food was nothing glorious, it didn't create an urge to return in a hurry. But Ortolana is in a fantastic location for a chats over a well-presented meal to pass the night away. Bring a friend you haven't seen in a while or get your group together and try it for yourself... the menu is here.