Vangioni's New Menu
We have a new menu, updated dishes made with New Zealand produce. Take a look at the menu here on our site.
Vangionis review in the Christchurch press
by Ivan and Chris Donaldson
24th November 2010
So, you might ask, is Vangioni's a pizzeria? Maybe, but we would say it is a restaurant that specialises in pizzas. Its atmosphere immediately announces that it is not just another pizza joint.
Hanging baskets of flowers and potted hydrangeas on the doorstep welcome you to this historic building, which was a general store over a century ago. Inside there are two contrasting dining areas. In the part that was once the grocer's shop the lighting is subdued but there is a lovely view over the Akaroa Village Green to the foreshore and the hills beyond.
The other dining area, which seems to have been an old porch, is light and bright with clear plastic windows which can be lifted up to leave you effectively outside. It has a delightful garden view dotted with olive trees. The whole atmosphere, with its open kitchen, seems relaxed and suits the menu with its very Mediterranean influence. Like the restaurant itself the menu is largely of two parts. The first has a Spanish influence with multiple small plates, or tapas, on offer. These range from sourdough bread to crostinis to salads, olives and fish. We started with a platter of mixed crostinis and when we asked the helpful waitress what each one was, she said, "they're always a surprise". Our guesses for the four were diced tomato with crushed herbs, goat's cheese on date relish, melted blue vein cheese with caramelised onion, and smoked salmon on tartare sauce. We indulged in a second tapa which consisted of thin slices of Vangioni's own cured beef with shaved parmesan and olive oil on a bed of rocket. It was equally enjoyable.
The second half of the menu, or mains section, is a list of different pizzas. The seafood marinara was well-topped, tasty and generous. It proved to be more than we could eat but we were planning on dessert. There is a small but varied dessert menu and the panacotta with berry compote was excellent. Vangioni's has quite an extensive and good list of wines from around New Zealand (but principally Canterbury, Waipara and Banks Peninsula) and overseas. Prices are reasonable and several are available by the glass. We really enjoyed the Bentwood gewurztraminer at $8.50 with our tapas. It was fruity and deliciously perfumed with a long balanced finish - perfect for the various flavours. Because there was a good range of wine by the glass we decided to indulge in a different one each and swap half way with our pizza. We chose a glass of Te Mata syrah - those Hawke's Bay syrahs are worth investigating and this one was big, full and luscious with a lingering seductive ending. Black Estate pinot was a great choice as well with a full-bodied, earthy, fruity palate; clever, intelligent winemaking from Waipara Valley. Both wines worked perfectly with our main.
Go again? Definitely
HISTORIC TOUCH: Vangionis Trattoria and Bar was a general store over a century ago.
The French Festival at Vangionis
Delphine and Franck on stage at the Gaiety Gala performing a reenactment of the French landing in Akaroa!!