The Executive 

Antonio Crisci’s life long passion for flavours begun with his grandmother teaching him the secrets of Italian cuisine, in his mum’s kitchen- Napoli, Southern Italy. His love of food drove him to open his first restaurant in his hometown at the tender age of 19.

With dreams of sailing around the world, Antonio left Italy with his travels eventually leading him to arrive by yacht to Paihia, NZ in 1991. He made his way to Auckland working in a few restaurants and was surprised by how few European products were accessible in NZ’s largest city. Still keen to see more of the world he travelled to Australia, Indonesia and back to Europe then decided to make NZ his home in 1993. Within a few months he begun to introduce his favourite Italian flavours through his vision of what an Italian restaurant should be, ‘Toto’ in Nelson St, Auckland. The flagship restaurant was welcomed with great enthusiasm in the somewhat barren dining scene of the era and quickly attracted Auckland’s movers & shakers. It is also where he met the then Maitre’D of ‘Toto’, and now life and business partner, Vivienne Farnell. They have two daughters, Bella & Marilena, who are the inspiration in Antonios life.

Antonio’s influence in the Auckland scene is dotted around the inner city with Il Forno cafe in Ponsonby and what has become a Parnell institution, Non Solo Pizza, established in 1996 with Vivienne. It is still going strong after 19years. Antonio’s contribution to the industry was recognised in 2009 when he was voted ‘Outstanding Hospitality Personality of the Year’ at the prestigious Lewisham Awards. His presence is in demand at food and wine festivals such as Taste of Auckland, The Waiheke Vintage Festival and Festival Italiano.

Poderi Crisci is a culmination of his vision as a restaurateur, his Italian heritage and his commitment to living the New Zealand dream. On entry to Poderi Crisci you are immediately graced with old world style, charm and the bountiful gardens give you a sense of being in a self sufficient safe haven.
Antonio believes Waiheke is the ultimate destination for food lovers and that the vineyard fulfils the dreams of a lot of chefs. That is, to have a garden full of fresh produce to choose from daily and being able to create the menu of the day based on the freshest of ingredients.
Antonio loves being an owner/operator of his restaurants and he gives constant attention to detail and to continually uphold standards of food and wine service. He loves that he has the possibility to “entirely express my vision of food being an integral part of life”.

Summer 2023/24 Hours!


As we look forward to summer we also look forward to welcoming our regular guests and new faces to Waiheke and Poderi Crisci.

Our updates hours for summer 2023/24 as well as some special new offerings are below.

Monday, Thursday and Friday Lunch service we offer both a la carte and long lunch menu options to groups of 5 or less diners. Groups of 6 or more enjoy our long lunch menu or sharing menu options.

La Locanda will be open Tuesday and Wednesdays from 12 midday until 3.30pm offering a specialised A la Carte menu, sharing platters, wines and tastings.

Friday evenings we invite you to join us for our weekly Aperitivo event. Enjoy a drink to ease into the weekend with and indulge in a complimentary selection of canapes and nibbles. Restaurant open for A la Carte dinner service.

Saturday and Sunday we serve our acclaimed long lunch in the main restaurant, with the Locanda open for lighter meals and tasting platters.

Saturday evenings in the resaurant we serve our 8 course degustation menu which can also be enjoyed with matching wines from the Poderi Crisci range.

We will be hosting a series of exciting events over the summer months. Please get in touch should you wish to Keep Informed.

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