Beresford Square Wine Bar
Dynamic Spanish/French duo Manuel Garcia and Pascal Murello have been bringing a touch of Europe to Auckland since their debut restaurant, Mondial opened its Grey Lynn doors a few years ago. Upon hearing the news of their new venture – Beresford Square Wine Bar – I was one of many regulars eager to try anything the personable pair tried their hand at.
Dynamic Spanish/French duo Manuel Garcia and Pascal Murello have been bringing a touch of Europe to Auckland since their debut restaurant, Mondial opened its Grey Lynn doors a few years ago. A combination of their charming hospitality, delicious tapas and unbeatable atmosphere hit the mark, with everyone from arty locals to well-heeled out of towners, earning them a loyal following. Upon hearing the news of their new venture – Beresford Square Wine Bar – I was one of many regulars eager to try anything the personable pair tried their hand at.
Located, as the name suggests, in Beresford Square, the eclectic and some may say dodgy Square is frequented by all sorts from models heading to Next Top Model agency 62 by day, to late night clubbers bound for Auckland's notorious K Road. I rather like its 'off the beaten track' location and unassuming entrance though – it brings back fond memories of roaming the back streets of Europe and stumbling upon a little gem of a place, filled with ambience and character.
We step inside and are instantly and warmly welcomed by Manuel and Pascalle who recognise us and even remember our names from our many Mondial visits. A wine and tapas bar with a focus on good wine, cheeses and cured meats, Beresford Square Wine Bar feels to me like Mondial's older sister, a little more refined and elegant. As one of their long-standing wait staff told me, Pascal had mused, 'It's like having people constantly in your living room, sometimes you decide you want to re-decorate". They've brought the best of Mondial with them though, reintroducing their famous Sangria and reasonably priced, quality tapas.
The hallway-esque shaped bar is intimate yet roomy, with low slung lamp shades, tea lights dotted around the room and tasteful art paying homage to the restaurateur's Spanish and French heritage. Upbeat music surrounds the small space, but is not so loud that you can't enjoy a conversation.
Filled with a combination of large and small tables, it is the perfect choice for a first date or a group catch up. It is the kind of place you could pop into for a quick drink after work or that you could pull up a chair in a cosy corner, order a nice glass of red and while away the hours. It's the perfect spot for winter that really does transport you to another place once inside (think Barcelona, Argentina, Paris).
The food was beautifully simple and bursting with flavour. We started with little dishes of smoked paprika almonds and olives, then moved onto four courses of tapas which were perfectly staggered; Chickpea with Chorizo ($13.50), Serano Ham ($11), Spanish Anchovies ($12.50) and Mushroom Bruschetta with Gorgonzola ($13.50), all enthusiastically washed down with a smooth Argentinean red. Just when we thought it couldn't get any better, Pascalle presented a Four Cheese Board with accompaniments, one cheese even dipped and cured in red wine…pure heaven. We rounded off the meal with a delightful pairing of chocolate mousse and dessert wine.
Beresford Square Wine Bar has all the right ingredients to reach success of, well, gastronomic proportions and I'm sure will quickly earn yet another loyal following.
Photo credit: entertainme.co.nz