Andrew Goldsmith has opened more venues than a local MP yet admits to a few extra nerves in the countdown to his latest project, Barrenjoey House, which kicks off on Tuesday, December 18.
There's the fact he has snapped up a piece of northern beaches restaurant history, where everyone from Neil Perry to Darren Simpson worked.
He's also spent months renovating a space that's known for its imperfect, decades-worn charm. Throw in Goldsmith's reputation for high-end cafes rather than restaurants at The Boathouse Group and you can understand why Barrenjoey House offers some fresh challenges.
They are juggling table service and reservation demands along with a demanding menu. Being a local and knowing the venue helps.
"Club is not the right word," he says. "It's been a meeting place for the community. We want it to feel similar but lighter and brighter."
So, while the dark floorboards have been painted white and the bar has expanded, Goldsmith and wife Pip have even repurchased some Barrenjoey House furniture auctioned off to locals over the years.
It's busy in the kitchen, with group executive chef Thom Williamson working with joint head chefs Doug Fraser and Petr Buchel punching out Murray cod with fennel, orange and cucumber; duck breast with fresh figs and chestnut cream; and a Goldsmith favourite, a classic prawn cocktail.
"I really want it to feel homely. The sort of place you can roll in for lunch or a drink at 4.30pm," Goldsmith says. Cheers to that.
Open Tue-Sun lunch 11.30am-4pm; dinner 5pm-9pm.
1108 Barrenjoey Road, Palm Beach, 02 9974 4001, barrenjoeyhouse.com.au