Nieuw Amsterdam owner Michael Roszbach (ex-Cookie) had an inkling of what he wanted for his new venture, but until he found the double storey 1880s red brick building he wasn’t certain.
“It really was a bit of an organic process that started with finding the building,” Roszbach says. “I knew I wanted to do food, I knew I wanted to do some late night service, but that was it.”
Bringing interior designers Eades & Bergman on board (the creative duo behind The Meatball & Wine Bar, Mr Miyagi and Bomba Bar), it became apparent that the exposed brick, beautiful archways and big windows screamed New York style, and Nieuw Amsterdam was born.
“It had a very serious kitchen so I knew I needed a pretty serious chef,” Roszbach says of head chef Nick Stanton (ex-Woods of Windsor) joining the crew. “With Nick’s passion for American food it just all fell neatly into place.”
New York influences aside, the upstairs dining area has a distinct French bistro feel, not dissimilar to Pastis in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, with dark wood and classic bistro furnishings. French influences creep into the menu too; carrot remoulade offers a contrasting sweetness to the subtle smokiness of beef brisket and the chicken waffles appetiser, where orange caramel topped crispy chicken skin rests upon pate, terrine, and mini waffle.
“I’ve based the entire menu around what we can make in the kitchen,” Stanton says. “Nothing’s brought in, not even the bread or rolls.”
Lunch time offerings include Italian style New York deli sandwiches (gooey, melted mozzarella baked eggplant for vegetarians) and a BBQ meat tray where you choose from three different types of protein served with sides on a metal tray.
Then head down to the dimly lit basement cocktail bar, perfect for night owls and, as Roszbach so eloquently puts it, “hang-ups, hangovers and heartaches.”
106-122 Hardware Street, Melbourne
(03) 9602 2111
Mon to Wed noon-1am
Thurs & Sun noon-3am
Fri & Sat noon-5am