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Eating @ Venuti

Amid the central city’s empty blocks and construction sites, one of our much-loved local eateries is up and running in a new guise, injecting a shot of Italian good spirits to bolster the renaissance of Christchurch City. Portofino Christchurch was an integral element of Oxford Terrace dining where owner Michael and his family served Italian charm alongside classic Italian fare. The approach gained them a loyal following and, for many, its demise in the earthquakes meant losing contact with good friends as well as an eatery. So when the family brought a new restaurant to life, Michael picked up his cell phone and personally invited their loyal clientele to opening night.

The new restaurant is called Venuti – a nod to ‘Buon Venuti’, Italian for welcome – and, sticking to their central city roots, is located at 791 Colombo Street, at the intersection with Kilmore Street. The building is brand-new – safe, sparkling and sexy with dark wood, recessed lighting and chocolate seating. With street-side dining and a well-stocked bar it’s every bit the chic urban eatery serving authentic, honest and damn good food. Top-quality fresh produce is the ‘secret’ ingredient; that, and consistency. “We just do what we do, without trying to copy anyone else,” says Dave. It’s a simple formula that inspires loyalty.

Venuti is open seven nights for dinner. Phone 03 377 2454 to book – and, yes, bookings are pretty much essential now that word is out that Michael and the family are back!


Cityscape is the essential Christchurch directory of where to eat and drink, what to do and where to shop. From the best events to add to your calendar to tips to ensure you squeeze out the very essence of the city, Cityscape has the city of Christchurch covered inside and out.


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Guest 16 December 2017