Opposite the international food court on Ponsonby Road you'll find Freeman & Grey. Despite rumours having circulated that the name was taken from an actor, a television series and a mainstream erotic novel, it was more than likely named after none of those things.
On first glance, it's a great space. There's the welcoming outdoor area which acts as the go-to hangout for post-work catch ups, smoking diners, as well as being the ideal spot to watch local celebs walk up and down the road. Further inside, the restaurant-come-bar has a rustic vibe throughout the two-levels. The exposed brick-work and abundance of plant life are New York studio chic and the wooden beams with potato sack remanence from times gone by are...barnyard chic.
The restaurant is extremely generous with their menu. Pizzas are $4 everyday between 12pm - 2pm at lunch and 5pm - 7.30pm in the evening. For the minuscule price tag, they're definitely worth it. Even if you decided to visit at another time, they'll still only set you back between $6.90 - 10.90. You can choose from a large number of flavours, including duck with cashew nuts, mushrooms and hoisin sauce; lamb with kawakawa, mint and rosemary; proscuitto with pear and mozzarella and plenty of others. If your wallet strings are uber tight, with the simple exchange of an email address, you can even get the first pizza or a drink on the house by signing up for the friends club. I'm still trying to figure out what the catch is.
Other items on the menu are sharing, tapas style plates and platters. You'll find garlic and herb prawn skewers, homemade meatballs and salt and pepper calamari.
Once the afterwork and dinner crowd has moved on, the area turns into a full blown drinking establishment for the regulars of Ponsonby Road. The transition from restaurant to bar is slick and it works even better as a bar. A faint smell of booze lingers on into the dinner service, but lets be honest, this isn't somewhere you're going to bring the in-laws to make an impression - unless you only have $4 and an email address.