Get dressed up:
- Hippopotamus at the Museum Hotel – French dining amidst opulent art scattered throughout the hotel and views over the harbour. Perfect spot for dinner on Guy Fawkes night. Pretty spectacular desserts. Lunches and dinners 7 days.
- Whitebait at Clyde Quay – Quality eats from the Whitehouse family, in a more ‘Auckland’ waterfront bistro setting. Mostly seafood and superb desserts. 2015 Cuisine NZ best new restaurant. Dinner Tuesday to Saturday.
Slightly more ‘bistro’ but could still get dressed up:
- Logan Brown – cnr Cuba and Vivian. Also high quality eats in a beautiful old bank building where the focus is on palate over garnish. Paua ravioli signature dish. Check out the fish tank in the bar. Wednesday to Saturday lunches and Tuesday to Sunday dinners.
- Artisan – in the Bolton Hotel up the sweeping staircase, dignified feeling. 2015 NZ Hospo awarded best dish over $25. Lunches and dinners 7 days.
- Jardin Grill – in the Sofitel Hotel – Bolton Street. Very lovely plant-based setting and quality international food from a chef with Wellington experience. Lunches and dinners 7 days.
- Jano Bistro on upper Willis (the old Citron) – A marriage of bistro, gastronomy and alchemy by the French Pierra-Alain Fenoux, 2015 Cuisine NZ runner up best new restaurant, and 2016 Wellington on a Plate winning festival dish. Very smart food with excellent service and ambience. Dinner Tuesday to Sunday.
Not quite fine dining, but a fine setting:
- Shed 5 – white table cloths and a slightly formal feel in an old wool store on the waterfront at Queens Wharf (Historic Places Trust category 1). Specialise in seafood with their own fishmonger and filleting room, and have managed their pricing well. Lunches and dinners 7 days.