From the team behind Point Chevalier neighbourhood spot Ambler, and polished Wynyard Quarter bistro Wander, Atelier is the latest new opening to join Karangahape Road’s sought-after stable of eateries — and it’s more than holding its own with an offering of French-inspired small plates and extensive drinks list.
While Ambler is brimming with laidback charm and Wander is a bright and breezy all-day eatery, Atelier is slightly more grown-up but no less welcoming. Located next to Artspace, the generously-sized restaurant has 100 seats indoors and 20 out the front, making for a versatile space that can play host to many occasions and gathering sizes.
Owners and executive chefs Kélian Monteil and Alexis Petit (both hailing originally from France) have created an enticing menu that focuses on French techniques and dishes while celebrating New Zealand’s excellent produce. Working seasonally with independent suppliers is incredibly important to the duo, and they specifically seek out New Zealand-based makers offering French products.
Food-wise, there’s plenty of options for just a light snack with a drink, or a full spread for a feast. On the light end, find Te Matuku oysters; hummus topped with roasted hazelnuts and delicate purple kumara crisps; smoked olives, and various charcuterie board sizes. There’s a special Daily Bread sourdough loaf made exclusively for Atelier, a mixture of rye, wholemeal and baker’s flour, served with whipped kina butter.
Each dish is a joy to look at and to eat — from smoked trevally rillettes to black pudding eclairs with scallops and fennel; smoked stracciatella with slow-roasted tomatoes and eggplant, and braised beef cheek pavé that is so tender you could eat it with a spoon.
Desserts are exquisitely rendered — the lemon and Speculoos tart makes use of the beloved Biscoff-type Belgian biscuit as a base and is topped with perfectly zesty lemon curd and soft meringue, while the mille-feuille with salted butter caramel and chantilly is an absolute show-stopper.
In terms of drinks, where Atelier sets itself apart is that it offers every single one of its wines by the glass as well as by the bottle, no matter how top tier it might be. The team uses the Coravin preservation system to make this viable — using a hollow needle, the technology inserts an inert gas into the wine bottle to prevent oxidisation without having to remove the cork.
The selection is extensive and includes a wide range from organic and natural drops, to full-bodied classic wines, from both local and international makers including Australia and France. There’s also a selection of great cocktails and the team has taken advantage of the ever-innovative selection of non-alcoholic beverages to offer two zero alcohol wines, a beer, mocktails and kombucha.
The Atelier team always knew they wanted to open on Karangahape Road, and were delighted to have signed onto this spot in the old post office back in 2020. While the pandemic has made the road to opening a long and winding one, now they’re finally here we suggest you go and give them a warm welcome.
Wednesday & Thursday: 4pm — late
Friday, Saturday & Sunday: 3pm — late
Closed Monday & Tuesday.
292 Karangahape Road