When Bar Celeste opened in late 2019, there wasn’t anything else like it in Auckland. Owners Emma Ogilvie and Nick Landsman had already built a following with their popular La Peche pop-ups, inspired by the vibrant and jolly neo-bistros of Paris. That’s the same energy they brought to Bar Celeste, which has a cheeky, let-loose vibe.
It’s a long, narrow space on the Upper Queen Street end of K’ Road, with exposed brick walls, date-appropriate and group-oriented seating, and an open kitchen at the back. Communal tables out front are primed for people watching.
It’s a wine bar, yes – with an emphasis on organic, biodynamic and natural bottles (the duo also has wine shop Star Wines in an old superette a few doors up) – but Bar Celeste’s food is reason enough to visit.
The menu consists of uncomplicated but often rich share plates that skew French – think whole flounder with brown butter and capers, snapper crudo with figs and olive oil, and burrata on house-made sourdough.