It’s a bit of a pity that the Ponsonby Road Bistro’s footpath tables are often hogged by hard-faced blondes clutching glasses of chardonnay, for it is a very fine restaurant – the kind we here at Eat Here Now would like to see more of. It’s slick but not pretentious, the food is exemplary and the prices are reasonable. It may be the perfect place in Ponsonby for a long lunch.
PRB, see, has evolved in a way Auckland restaurants often don’t. The smart fellows from Rocco up the road took over the space a few years back; initially, they called it Magnum. While the food was always top-notch, the place was taken over by drinkers and last year they rebranded, adding a very deliberate “Bistro”.
Thank goodness. The food is classic fare: there is always a shellfish dish on the menu – we ate cockles marinera ($18.50) recently, sweet and salty and tender, with nicely grilled flat bread. Duck confit was a well-made classic: it came with porcini, bacon and cavolo nero: the lentils soft but not squidgy, the duck cooked just through. There is steak with chips ($29.50), pizza ($20) and we are most keen to return for the duck-liver pate starter. It’s hearty, wholesome food and we like it very much indeed. SFG
HOURS Lunch, Monday to Friday from 12. Dinner, Monday to Saturday from 5.30.
ADDRESS 165 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby, ph 360-1611. www.ponsonbyroadbistro.co.nz