Don’t go to Bar Copains flashing a photo of a rare wine you saw on Instagram. While they might have it, co-owners Morgan McGlone (Sunday, ex-Belle’s Hot Chicken) and Nathan Sasi (founding chef at Nomad, Mercado and Adelaide’s Leigh Street Wine Room) can’t abide clout- or label-chasing.
But it's not snobbery; it’s love and respect for the wine – particularly because a significant proportion of what’s in Bar Copains’ cellar comes from McGlone and Sasi’s personal wine collections, which are thousands strong and curated over decades. Not everything is on-site, but there’s a selection taking in small producers and classic Australian wines (such as Tyrrell’s), with plenty of natural wines and super-rare drops.
Bar Copains is a wine bar first, but it’s hard to look past Sasi’s skill in the kitchen. When Broadsheet visited, dishes included Murray cod cooked over an open flame on a custom Japanese konro grill, a nod to Sasi’s days at Nomad. Bluefin tuna belly might come served with soy and mustard dressing, pickled kohlrabi, fermented chilli and fresh horseradish. For vegetarians, crispy eggplant is served with tomato jam and salted ricotta, and there are tomatoes accompanied by compressed watermelon and goat’s curd.
“Copains” is a French word for friends, and the idea for Bar Copains is almost as old as McGlone and Sasi’s friendship. The pair have moved in the same social circles since the ’90s, but they became close during their time together at celebrated Southern-style restaurant Husk in Nashville (McGlone was chef de partie while Sasi was staging) and kept in touch over the years.
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