71A MacLeay St Potts Point, NSW 2011
|Opening hours||L Sat-Sun; D Daily|
|Features||Licensed, Bar, Accepts bookings, Long lunch, Romance-first date, Vegetarian friendly|
|Prices||Moderate (mains $20-$40)|
|Payments||eftpos, AMEX, Visa, Mastercard|
|Phone||02 9360 4410|
The fine line separating wine bars with food and restaurants with wine just got blurrier with this dazzling new venture from the Bentley boys. Designed by Melbourne's Pascale Gomes-McNabb, the dark, inviting space is hung with long strips of black sound-absorbent material that's an art installation in itself. House-cured meats, shaved on a hand-operated flywheel slicer, make a terrific start, then the kitchen sends out small, witty share-plates full of balance and poise. Artfully shaved heirloom vegetables and baby pink fir potatoes on a pure white buttermilk whey dressing are (almost) too pretty to eat, while a creamy, chunky brandade of salt cod and potato with green peas, mint leaves and pea shoots is a knockout. The food can be as simple as grilled baby corn or as envelope-pushing as octopus with tiny globe artichokes and sea banana succulents. How do you follow that? Probably with nectarine ice-cream, fresh nectarine, crunchy meringue and burnt butter crumbs.