Down on the corner
Livening up Parnell's nightlife is new local 46 & York. Serving plates to share and delicious cocktails, the bar's spot overlooking Fraser Park is ideal for a cosy catch-up with friends. We love the crisp white bar stools and fabulous gold chairs. Cnr Parnell & York Sts, ph (09) 377 9675
A fine excuse
Shopping and chocolate . . . need we say more? Kate Sylvester and Bennetts of Mangawhai have collaborated on a handmade chocolate selection inspired by Marilyn Monroe - the perfect match to the designer's Marilyn-themed summer collection, The Last Sitting. The gold leaf and rose crystal temptations are free in store at the Kate Sylvester boutique until Wednesday, along with a lucky dip for prizes.
New in town
Continuing Auckland's hosplosion of sorts, cafe and restaurant openings abound this week.
Our pick of the latest:
• Josh Emett's much anticipated eatery Ostro has arrived on the second floor of Britomart's Seafarers building. Check it out at 52 Tyler St.
• Downstairs, Coffee Supreme serves food from Ostro alongside boutique brews and a curated retail selection.
• For more aqua views, Harbourside has unveiled a fresh lick of paint - enjoy cocktails on the ferry building's all-weather balcony.
• Coffee General has arrived in Newmarket - find them on the ground floor of the Mind Lab building, 69 Carlton Gore Rd.
• Fun to eat, and super-tasty, try the cured pork skewers wrapped in cos with green banana, cucumber and a spicy chilli sauce at Cafe Hanoi (left).
• The authentic, fresh spring rolls from Grey Lynn's Cafe Viet - jam-packed with ingredients and brimming with flavour.
• Federal & Wolfe's refreshing "Zinger" juice. Apple, pear, lime and ginger combine for summer in a glass.
• Italian bread twisted with salami, artichoke and four cheeses from The Chevron in Pt Chevalier. Indulgently good.
Check out Westmere's Garnet Station - wood-fired pizzas are back for summer. Along with the arrival of organic craft beer and wine, this backyard favourite is just like being at your best friend's place. Now open Wednesdays to Sundays 5-10pm. Takeaways also available, ph (09) 360 3397.
Dine in style
Impress your guests with a table at DineAid's charity auction dinner at Taste of Auckland next Friday, with all proceeds benefiting the Auckland City Mission. Top chefs from The Grove, Bracu and Everybody's Izakaya will serve a gourmet mini tasting menu, which Annabel White and Simon Wilson will host.
To book a table of 10 email firstname.lastname@example.org
The perfect accessory for the party season? The new Sodastream Source, designed by sustainable advocate Yves Behar. Keep it on the bench for a non-stop source of mixers for your drinks. Our favourite tipple: freshly squeezed lemon juice, mint, grated ginger and soda water. From $199. For your nearest stockist go to sodastream.co.nz
Ladies, a can
A reminder to share the love this party season: the Wattie's Cans Film Festival is on next Wednesday night, offering a selection of family movies for the tiny price of one can. Wattie's will match each can donated with one of their own, helping to fill Salvation Army food banks for the busy Christmas period. Exchange a can of food for a movie ticket from today until next Wednesday's movie showings. For participating cinemas and times visit watties.co.nz
For the perfect dinner party dessert, try Italian imports Baba Napoletani. The rum- or limoncello-infused cakes are an easy treat, served with icecream or mascarpone. $24.90 for a jar from Sabato.
Proving that being gluten-free is anything but a passing phase, the hugely popular MooChowChow is declaring its menu 99.99 per cent gluten-free from November 11. Head chef Che Barrington and team have been working tirelessly with Thailand's premium sauce brand Megachef, which is endorsed by chef David Thompson and favoured by chefs worldwide, to carry out tests in Thailand and New Zealand on all of MooChowChow's sauces and seasonings to ensure they are free from gluten.
"The only dish left that will contain gluten is our famous spring rolls and that's because the wheat-based wrappers are such an integral part of this dish, but we're working on it! Everything else will be entirely gluten-free."
Put it on the list
• Fresher than ever - Cucina's artisan pasta is now online. Order from cucinafoods.co.nz
• The latest globally inspired seasonings from Simon Gault - the cheeky names tickle our tastebuds.