Friday, 30 November 2007

A double-header

The silly season is well and truly upon us. Tonight saw two great get-togethers with friends.

First stop was the Vespa Lounge. This is a favourite haunt for our main drinks organiser, who loves the fact that we can get together after work in a place that's not too crowded and actually talk to each other without having to shout. Sure, it's pretty quiet in the early evening, and we often start out by having the place to ourselves, but that soon changes as this very stylish bar fills up for the night and parties on until the wee small hours of the morning. (By the way, am I the only one who has been in Wellington long enough to remember Vespa's famous cocktail shakers? Those were the days!) Complete with Italian Vespas outside the front door, an extensive wine list, and great DJs playing through the night, this is a very cool place to hang out with friends. The food is a scaled-down menu ordered in from Hummingbird, but somehow it still manages to stay hot even after a quick stroll around the corner to Blair St.

Next stop for dinner was One Red Dog on Allen St. I run hot and cold with this place; the food is usually good, but the service has its ups and downs. As a group of 12, we ordered the set Christmas-type menu for $30 per head. This got us a couple of yummy antipasto platters to share, along with the cheesy, yet essential, Christmas crackers. Of course, these came complete with useless plastic toys, terrible jokes, and hideous paper hats that we had to wear until dessert. The main course consisted of a selection of five of their gourmet pizzas, including two Christmas varieties (turkey, cranberry and brie; and an interesting ham off the bone, kumara, asparagus and mustard sauce creation) and a mixed green salad. Topping it all off was a decadent chocolate fondue, with marshmallows (the firm ones that don't fall off your fork), kiwifruit, bananas and pineapple pieces.

I'm still not completely sold on the service here (what does it take to get some water bottles filled?), but the food tonight was generally pretty good. Just make sure you leave plenty of room for dessert... yum!

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