Leigh Street Wine Room
Leigh Street Wine Room (LSWR) is in a space that formerly housed a longstanding city drycleaner – and there’s not a trace of the former tenant. Well, save for the signage outside: a bright light box which beams out the words "dry cleaners".
The rest of the site features a mezzanine, a terrazzo bar and floor, exposed acoustic wall panelling, and – the piece de resistance – a striking, lofty archway that runs the length of the room. It’s the first thing you’ll notice when you walk through the door, until you spot the wall of wine – 400-odd bottles of minimal-intervention drops selected by Sydney-born-and-raised chef and co-owner Nathan Sasi.
Nathan (who opened Sydney diner Mercado in 2016) rules over the tiny kitchen, where he butchers all his own meat and turns out house-made charcuterie, cheese and bread.
The intimate wine bar is a celebration of natural drops. The huge list homes in on Australian, French and Italian wines, with a healthy contribution from the Adelaide Hills. The list is wide-ranging, from a $50 house drop to a $600 bottle of Valentini, considered one of the greatest producers in Italy.
Although LSWR’s calling card is wine, if you skip the food you're missing half the fun. The European-leaning menu might star sheep’s milk ricotta gnudi (cacio e pepe style), rigatoni with tripe and sweetbreads, or grilled beef tongue with horseradish and salsa verde. A selection of cured meats – including mortadella, bresaola made from Mayura Wagyu, capicollo, and fennel-and-white-wine salami – are made in-house.