Campbells Bay local El Greco has officially been crowned Auckland’s best BYO for 2022, surpassing 11 other restaurants shortlisted to win the title and a $5,000 small business support package.
The North Shore eatery, owned and operated by husband-and-wife Kostas and Sarah Grigorakis, received the most public votes and scored highly with the judges, impressing with its Greek-Italian menu, relaxed atmosphere and exceptional service.
The inaugural awards, run by Leftfield wines and Facebook consumer food forum Lazy Susan, were created to shine a light on the often-overlooked Auckland BYO spots.
Sarah Grigorakis says the entire El Greco team is incredibly humbled by the accolade and that it’s a welcome boost after the challenges experienced by hospitality venues.
“We’re elated and would like to make special thanks to all those who have voted for us, not least to our valued customers. It means so much to us to win and we can’t wait to bring our little piece of the Mediterranean to you all!” she says.
“One of the best parts of running El Greco is when customers come in and run into someone they haven’t seen for ages so they join tables,” Sarah says. “That’s so cool because people feel like they’re at home. They want to share the experience with others. That’s what we strive for.”
Fellow judge and Lazy Susan co-founder Antony Suvalko says he was impressed that even in the most challenging of times the quality of the food at all the finalists never faltered, and that meant consistently busy dining rooms.
“We have to give a special mention to Try It Out in Ōtāhuhu, which was one of the top picks, impressing with its consistently delicious dishes that we want to go back and eat over and over. “Similarly, Bali Nights is a fantastic feature for the Ponsonby-Grey Lynn neighbourhood, reminding so many of us how wonderful it is to have a great BYO to rock up to in the city fringe,” says Antony.
Sarah Szegota, global marketing and communications director for Leftfield wines, extends her congratulations to El Greco and all the finalists. “At Leftfield we’re creatives to the core – always exploring a world of flavour through the lens of wine – so we know first-hand just how brilliant BYOs are. “We’re thrilled to be able to help put these diverse and delicious restaurants on the map and look forward to visiting each and every one as soon as possible.”
Finalists for the 2022 Auckland’s best BYO awards were: Bali Nights (Grey Lynn), Big Fish Eatery (Penrose), Bunga Raya Restaurant (New Lynn), Canton Café (Kingsland), Faro (Auckland CBD), Golden Jade (Epsom), Nishiki (Freeman’s Bay), Satya (Grey Lynn), Sri Pinang (Kārangahape Road), Tianze Dumpling House (Sandringham) and Try it Out Restaurant (Ōtāhuhu).