More than anything, Rothwell's is the kind of restaurant Dan Clark wants to dine in. The co-owner of 1889 Enoteca was enamoured with the polished, egalitarian service found at global institutions such as the Musso & Frank Grill in Hollywood or London’s Wolseley cafe and restaurant. Together with business partner and head chef Ben Russell (ex-Aria), he’s turned the former Jamie’s Italian space in the CBD into this elegant bar and bistro with a European-influenced menu anchored in classic French techniques.

For starters, you might order chicken liver parfait with cornichons and toasted brioche; beetroot with radish, walnuts and goat’s curd; or a classic steak tartare with potato crips. Follow up with something larger like cassoulet with confit duck leg, Toulouse sausage, pork belly and white beans; or roasted lamb with braised peas, bacon and shallot.

There’s also a straightforward selection of pastas, and a grill section with various cuts of beef. The real stars of the menu? The seafood platter and 600-gram beef Wellington served with red wine sauce. Both are designed to share.

Wine plays a central role in the experience, with an extensive list tapping French regions such as Burgundy, Loire Valley, the Languedoc and Champagne, as well as classic Australian and Italian varietals. Cocktails dabble in classic territory, but there’s also a roving Armagnac cart with bottles dating back to 1931.

Parked in the ground floor of the heritage-listed Rothwells Building, the space is split into a front bar, a dining room arranged around marble tables and an enormous marble raw bar. Original timber and tile floors are complemented by sumptuous green leather booths, towering mirrored walls, and vintage lighting that includes an enormous chandelier.

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Updated: October 21st, 2022

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