Top 5 Place I Want To Drink (& Eat)
Sometimes (OK, often) what I drink is as important as what I eat – and sometimes it’s more important. The eats still have to be good of course (and inclusion on this list is in no way an indictment of the food at these establishments), but sometimes I just feel like grazing my way through a few plates of tasty food while focusing on some very interesting wines and other beverages. Here’s where I head to when I get that feeling.
ACME, Rushcutters Bay
Sommelier Gavin Wright gets it so right here, from an opening glass of Navazos sherry or boutique sake through wonderful orange wines by the glass, Australia’s lesser-known producers sit alongside interesting drops from Europe and further afield. Add a few little plates of Mitch Orr’s pasta (linguine, black garlic, burnt chilli) and I’m in heaven!
The short but interesting list of wines and sakes by the glass – organic, bio-dynamic and made as naturally as possible by small producers – is a great start, add bar staff that know their stuff and how to read what a guest wants, and dishes designed for snacking that are greater than the sum of their parts, and you’re off and running.
A seat at the bar can be a clever, inexpensive way to experience a fine diner, especially when the co-owner is sommelier-extraordinaire Nick Hildebrandt, with a penchant for the boutique, rare and eclectic and over 30 wines by the glass. Add a plate of house-cured meat and a few of Brent Savage’s creative snacks and you’re set.
Rockpool Bar & Grill, Sydney
Go for the witty quotes on the drinks list – stay for a killer selection of wines by the glass from one of Sydney’s finest cellars and a superb range of cocktails from bar staff that really know their stuff. Nibble on the best finger sandwiches, empanadas, tasty bits on crisp toast and other winning snacks.
Italians know all about nibbling, drinking and enjoying, and the short, all-Italian wine list (including good vino della casa by the glass or carafe) plus some excellent spritz and aperitivi and great snacks (such as piadine and pork sausage sliders) make Capriccio the best thing to happen to Norton Street in a long time.