A meal at the lively Apéro is just as co-owners Leslie Hottiaux and Mo Koski describe it – “As if you are being welcomed into our home”. The place has an easy, effortless atmosphere and is somewhere you would feel comfortable dining solo or with a group, an ambience Mo cultivates through cheerful banter and ready laughs. Apéro turns out traditional French-bistro food with a twist – well-presented dishes that are simple and sophisticated. A refined take on a goat’s cheese croquette drizzled in kamahi honey is presented standing to attention in a ramekin; the croquettes are pillowy and crisp with gooey centres of locally sourced goat’s cheese. As a main, the duck-leg cassoulet is a winter treat served straight from oven to table with an outstanding roasty colour and aroma. Apéro doubles as a wine bar and has a superb selection by the glass. A thoughtful cocktail list includes the suitably named ‘The Apéroʼ.

IN BRIEF Unpretentious eatery with superb food and wine