Before and After
As the name suggests, Before and After is a cosy basement boozer dedicated to pre- and post-dinner drinking – and aperitivo and digestivo in particular.
The poison of choice here is amaro, and owner George Curtis (ex-Agnes) is pouring 40 varieties of the traditional Italian digestif from behind the timber bar. Thirteen of them are vintage, including a bottle of Fernet-Branca from the 1960s. There’s also a bunch of Australian drops, including a hard-to-find Osare amaro from Tasmania, and a range of Beechworth Bitters amari.
Cocktails include a signature beeswax and lavender Negroni; a concoction of Mr Black coffee amaro, Marzadro grappa, curry leaf and pineapple skin Curtis has named Dutch Curry. There’s also a short selection of grappa and small-producer Australian wines, plus canned beer from Balter and Black Hops.
If you’re after a snack, there’s a whole menu of them produced by the kitchen at Alba, a couple of blocks over on Burnett Lane. Highlights include a shrimp roll with Fernet-Branca mayo; Olasagasti anchovies on toast with salsa verde; and a grilled cheese sanga with lillet-soaked pear and amaro mustard.
It all amounts to a singular little venue in a unique – and, arguably, hard-to-find – spot. Find the nondescript black door just off the Queen Street Mall, and enter to find a homey space populated with comfy couches, lamps and an old gramophone Curtis bought off Facebook Marketplace.
Phone: No phone
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