Riley Street Cafe & Wine

222 Riley Street, Surry Hills, NSW

All Details
asdffgs
Serendipity: Riley Street Cafe & Wine owners Michael Stephen, Mauro Marcucci and Gabrielle Webster have created the essence of a good European wine bar. Photo: Steven Siewert

Jill Dupleix

You've gotta love a sommelier who'll lop the top off a bottle of Flaccianello della Pieve as soon as look at it. And you've gotta love a barista who turns out a superb coffee for just $2.50, well under the market price of $3.50. Equally, you've gotta love a chef who just cooks what he wants and puts it on the counter so that you can see if you want it, too.

This serendipitous wine/food/coffee matrix is to be found behind the white-marbled, stool-lined bar of the new Riley Street Cafe & Wine. It's a cool, handsome space tucked into a self-consciously modern lobby, its tall walls lined with one-word wine descriptors: ''texture'', ''foxy'', ''didactic''. Set up by sommelier Gabrielle Webster and her next door neighbours Mauro Marcucci and Michael Stevens of Baccomatto Osteria, it has that serious-yet-casual attitude of a good European wine bar. Gabrielle keeps around 20 natural and bio-dynamic wines by the glass and has been known to rip open the odd magnum and jeroboam on the weekend. Born to run a wine bar, that girl.

Similar rigour is brought to the coffee side of things by skilled barista Simon Fowler, who keeps the chromed-up Mirage espresso machine gleaming while simultaneously pulling darkly velvety espresso shots from beans roasted by Illawarra's Blacksmith coffee roasters. "We like 'little guy' coffee," he explains.

At the other end of the bar, chef Francesco di Gioia pan-grills toast for a sensational eggy breakfast with avocado, prosciutto and whole milk ricotta and tosses tomatoes into a gorgeous salad. The brekky/lunch menu runs until 3pm, then snacky things kick in until late in the evening - salumi, formaggi, or savoury tarts. Sometimes there are whole trays of roast pork and wilted greens and baked lasagne; sometimes not. It's a bit random that way.

"We're not a restaurant" says Gabrielle. "We're more like a party."

There's something about Riley Street that allows it to do what you want it to do, whether that's a coffee and a croissant on the way to work, a slow brunch on the weekend, or a life-saving late night taleggio and guanciale toasty with a generous pour of the flirty Noir de Florette from Domaine Lucci.

You don't ''gotta'' love it, of course. But if you love hanging out with good wine, food and coffee, there's every chance you will.

Do … drop in for a glass of wine.
Don't …
leave without a coffee.
Dish …
Spring tomato salad with olives, ricotta, capers, oregano, basil and white balsamic, $10.
Vibe …
Euro neighbourhood bar.

Rate this restaurant

Rate this restaurant:

Use [left] and [right] keys to rate, [enter] to submit, [esc] to cancel.

Rate this restaurant with 0.5 a star Rate this restaurant with 1 star Rate this restaurant with 1.5 stars Rate this restaurant with 2 stars Rate this restaurant with 2.5 stars Rate this restaurant with 3 stars Rate this restaurant with 3.5 stars Rate this restaurant with 4 stars Rate this restaurant with 4.5 stars Rate this restaurant with 5 stars

Write a review

Thanks for voting!

Write a review

222 Riley Street, Surry Hills, NSW

  • Cuisine - Italian
  • Prices - Breakfast/lunch $7-$15; dinner $6-$16; coffee, $2.50.
  • Features - Licensed, Bar
  • Chef(s) - Francesco di Gioia
  • Owners - Gabrielle Webster, Mauro Marcucci and Michael Stevens
  • Opening Hours - Tues-Sat 7am til late, Sun 9am-10pm
  • Author - Jill Dupleix
Close map

Comments

Be the first to comment.

Make a comment

You are logged in as [Logout]

All information entered below may be published.

Error: Please enter your screen name.

Error: Your Screen Name must be less than 255 characters.

Error: Your Location must be less than 255 characters.

Error: Please enter your comment.

Error: Your Message must be less than 300 words.

Post to

You need to have read and accepted the Conditions of Use.

Thank you

Your comment has been submitted for approval.

Comments are moderated and are generally published if they are on-topic and not abusive.

Most viewed restaurants

View all

You can also view recent reviews for:

Most viewed restaurants in Sydney

View all

You can also view recent reviews for:

Most viewed restaurants in Melbourne

View all

You can also view recent reviews for:

Most viewed restaurants in Brisbane

View all

You can also view recent reviews for:

Most viewed restaurants in Canberra

View all

You can also view recent reviews for:

Promotions

Winemaker Louisa Rose is the custodian of both Yalumba tradition and innovation.