The Gidley opened on Friday in a King Street basement with more than a few restaurant ghosts. Subsolo was a former resident, and Omega went through a spectacular boom and high-profile bust at the site.
It is the latest venue from the owners of Bistecca and Grandma's, with the history of the site unveiled during its renovation.
"There were five layers of flooring: carpet, tile, another level of tile, then timber and finally concrete," co-owner James Bradey says.
They pared back then layered their own rich Tom Mark Henry interior, with lashings of dark timber, herringbone floors and metres of velvet.
The Gidley takes its moniker from Governor Philip Gidley King, and while the space has been re-imagined with nods to Australian colonial times, Bradey explains the idea was to tap the feel of an old European hotel and the luxury of the golden age of train travel.
"It'd go perfectly [with a murder mystery night]," Bradey says.
"I'm biased, but the food is fantastic."
The menu is littered with prime rib roast, Gidley's signature spinalis cut, "brick" chicken with bread sauce, crab cakes, prawn cocktails and Russian and Iranian caviar.
If it sounds a little US steakhouse, save room for the savoury pumpkin pie with whipped goat's cheese and a dessert list headlined by pecan pie and cheesecake.
"We wanted it to feel decadent and luxurious," Bradey says.
Open Fri noon-3pm; Tue-Sat 5.30pm-late.
Basement, 161 King Street, Sydney, thegidley.com.au