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Winter dining is all about the flavours, the atmosphere and the warmth of company. Whether you’re looking to spoil yourself with the finest dining available, the cosy feel of comfort food or just to park up with a steak, a beer and a fireplace, Wellington’s got you covered this winter.
Rita is an intimate eatery housed in an historic Aro Valley cottage. With two scheduled, staggered sittings each evening, Rita offers a menu that changes not just by season, but by day and by mood. Book a seat and know that you’ll be in supremely capable hands in ‘this heavenly place’.
Located in the former factory space of the Wellington Boot Company, WBC is a busy eatery specialising in seafood and nose-to-tail eating. The regularly changing menu combines small and large plates of the very best of local seafood (oysters are a specialty), meat, and fresh produce, which the affable WBC staff will happily match with the excellent local and international wine and beer menu.
Capitol has an intimate bistro feel and the service is warm and inviting. With classical Italian influences, Capitol's food is fresh, pure and uncluttered. The menu is strongly seasonal and is carefully designed to take full advantage of local produce. Grab a seat by the windows and watch the Mt Victoria locals amble by as you sip your expertly-made martini.
What could be more comforting and warming than a bowl of freshly made pasta and glass of red wine? Let us know if you think of something, but in the meantime, head to 1154 for the best-ever version of classic pasta dishes that you already know and love, made from scratch. They make their fresh pasta daily and in-house and they source only the best local and Italian ingredients.
Located down an unassuming alley in suburban Newtown is the rustically magical osteria, Cicio Cacio. Serving up deeply authentic and regional Italian food, Cicio Cacio’s menu is written in Italian but the staff are happy to take you through the menu (and patiently field questions when you immediately forget what everything was). With a homely wooden interior and brown paper covered tables, this is a place to relax and order up an Italian feast.
Oikos (pronounced 'ee-kos') takes fresh approach to rustic Greek food with a respectful nod to tradition. This is food made for sharing: there’s a menu of mezze-style plates to pick and mix from, or if you're not in the mood for choosing, there's a set shared menu. Order the slow-cooked lamb and a bottle of their house syrah and you're in for a heart-warming dinner.
Thirsty? There's nothing like finding the perfect cosy bar for a drink on a wild, winter's night or a chilly winter's afternoon. We've rounded up our favourite cosy spots for a winter drink in Wellington to head for a glass of local Martinborough pinot noir, a locally-brewed craft beer or a perfectly mixed cocktail.