dunedin restaurant


The Press; Zest - Spring 2006 by Simon Cunliffe

Although it is one of our regular dinner haunts, we often slip up to Bacchus Wine Bare for a quiet end-of-week drink. More than once we have been seduced into staying by the relaxed ambience. Bacchus is on one apex of the Octagon in the heart of Dunedin, and a couple of floors above it. A graceful Gone-With-the-Wind staircase curving upwards from the Stuart Street entrance signals the elegance of a bygone age. So it is in the restaurant itself: high ceiling, large sash windows, polished wooden floorboards and comfortable leather dining chairs. If you get a window seat - and do ask for one when booking - you can look out over the bustling centre of Dunedin and feel quite removed, far from the madding crowd.

While it styles itself as a wine bar and offers bread and dips to go with a glass of wine, Bacchus functions primarily as a restaurant. On a recent visit we relaxed with a couple of glasses of Carrick Central Otago Pinot Noir ($12.50). This was served in a suitable broad-beamed burgundy glasses, showing off the generous bouquet to effect. Fresh ciabatta with balsamic vinegar and olive oil ($5) helped up mull over the menu choices. Although Bacchus does the range of meats, such as oven-baked lam rack with tandoori crust on a Persian rice pilaf with honey-dew melon raita ($34.50), fish is the favourite.