I was about to use the phrase "fine dining", but that conjures up stuffy waiters who roll their eyes if you ask the meaning of "chiffonade" or "macedoine" or sigh if you say the tap water will be fine.
You don't get that at The Grove. The service is calm but snappy and superbly well-informed but you don't feel like they're doing you a favour letting you eat there.
The food makes sense, too, by which I mean you recognise the ingredients, and the dishes, for all that their inventiveness piques the curiosity, have a coherence and intelligibility that makes you feel right at home.
To say the food was superb is to understate matters, but it was the little grace notes - a crisp-fried shiso leaf or flecks of a succulent samphire - that made it a meal to remember.
The Grove, owned by Michael and Annette Dearth, is 10 years old and right now, it's shining brighter than ever as a beacon of the best of dining in our city.
Sophisticated and elegant it may be, but it also manages to feel charmingly casual and diners have discovered there's no reason to save this restaurant for special occasions - we were there on a Monday night and it was humming. Perhaps the refurbishment has freshened it up - love that white spindle furniture and pastel linen - but it feels more like a coming of age to me.
This is a kitchen that has had nothing but stellar chefs through it and Ben Bayly, who has been there for five years now, is proving an absolute superstar. His flair for flavour and form combined with the Dearths' penchant for amassing a wine list of stunning New Zealand and international wines, has seen the restaurant pick up award after award. Their collective focus is on providing the relaxed, yet highly proficient, level of service often seen in more tip-driven dining cultures.