What's the low down?
The team behind Darlinghurst casual Italian favourite Sagra have opened a Basque-inspired restaurant in Surry Hills.
There's salt cod, anchovies and all the paprika-spiked wood-roasted goodness you would expect to find in the Spanish north.
When does it open?
Ortzi is open now for a casual lunch or dinner.
What's the cause for excitement?
How many Basque-focused restaurants previously existed in Sydney? Not many, if any.
The Gure Txoko Basque Club in Darlinghurst rocks a $25 three-course lunch, perhaps featuring chicken braised in tomato with garlic potatoes, but that's only on a Sunday and you'll need to book. MoVida was pretty Basque-y but it closed in Surry Hills two years ago. Now there's a relaxed space in the neighbourhood again where you can drop in for a couple of pintxos and a sherry and be on your way, or take your time with a skirt steak enhanced by romesco ($34).
The restaurant is split over two levels and punctuated with Tasmanian oak table-tops and banquets and bars made by the Ortzi crew. (Ortzi means "sky" in Basque, by the way.)
What's on the menu?
Chef and co-owner Michael Otto is serving small plates like salt cod omelette with salsa rossa ($12), ajo blanco with muscatels ($8) and a lobster and celeriac roll ($14). Lamb and chorizo stew ($20) will help through the winter, as will whole roasted John Dory with white bean cassoulet ($39) and a char-grilled pork chop with wood-roasted apples ($36). A Basque rice pudding with Pedro Ximenez-soaked pears ($13) also seems like the right idea.
Anything else I need to know?
Flat (non-carbonated) cider is a popular Basque drink is well represented on a booze list that leans towards drops from northern Spain and southern France.
Mon-Sat noon-3pm; Mon-Wed 6pm-10pm; Thu-Sat 6pm-midnight
6 Hunt Street, Surry Hills, 02 9211 2414, ortzi.com.au